World Hunger Fund grant enables BIC Church in Mozambique to distribute much-needed food

—Between January and April 2010, the Brethren in Christ Church in Mozambique used a grant from the World Hunger Fund to distribute much-needed food to more than 3,550 individuals in five different provinces.

According to a recent report from Youngson Palibendipo, missionary and church planter in Mozambique working under the auspices of the BIC Church in Malawi, the food distribution project—which occurred monthly at various locations and was overseen by a Brethren in Christ pastor or church leader—met a critical need in Mozambique, where 54 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

Each month, 10 kg. packages of maize meal (a food staple) and beans were distributed to families meeting specific criteria, Palibendipo reports.

The project has been an incredible success, he concludes.

“Through this distribution we have seen change in attitude from the beneficiaries,” notes Palibendipo, adding that the food packages have helped alleviate the stress on the Brethren in Christ people of these provinces, most of who are farmers and rely on large crop yields for sustenance. People “have had time to work so they could add to the amount given,” he says.

According to the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP), Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in the world. In a recent report, the WFP showed that 2009 harvests in Mozambique were higher than expected, but still estimated that more than 281,000 people will remain food-insecure well into 2010.

Palibendipo reports that the project, though targeted at physical needs, has also benefited the Mozambican church spiritually.

“Many church members have been sharing food with friends and fellow believers [following] the church teaching on loving one another,” he shares.

And, he says, “people are seeing the love of Jesus through this provision of food.”

Palibendipo adds that even before the distribution started, church leaders had “seen and heard of some churches using part of their local offerings to buy food and to support the neediest in the surrounding communities.”

The church in Mozambique hopes to extend the food distribution project into the future. Plans are currently in process to develop an agricultural skills training program to augment the distribution.

About the World Hunger Fund (WHF)
For more than 30 years, the WHF has challenged us Brethren in Christ in North America to review our lifestyles so that we can direct more resources toward hunger relief and other benevolence programs. Recognizing that the hope we have in Christ is lived out in service to one another, we respond with gifts that encourage and support our sisters and brothers around the world.

In 2009, the fund disbursed more than $255,000 ( U.S. and Canadian), making significant contributions to hunger relief in Zimbabwe (through the Family to Family, Village to Village initiative), HIV/AIDS and orphan assistance in Mozambique, and housing relief in Honduras.

To contribute to the World Hunger Fund:
In the U.S.: Gifts can be made online by clicking the “Make a donation” link at the bottom of this page. (Please specify “World Hunger Fund” in drop-down menu.) Contributions may also be given by sending a check made out to “General Conference of the Brethren in Christ, Inc.” to 431 Grantham Road, PO Box A, Grantham, PA 17027. (Please indicate “World Hunger Fund” on the memo line of the check.)

In Canada: Cheques should be made out to the “BIC Canadian Conference” and mailed to the Canadian Conference of the BIC Church, 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville, ON L6H 6E1. (Please indicate “World Hunger Fund” on the memo line of the check.)