THROUGH WORLD FOOD DAY EVENTS, GOSPEL FOR ASIA-SUPPORTED TEAMS ALLEVIATE HUNGER AND OFFER HOPE TO THE UNDERNOURISHED
Some of Asia’s many outcast and overlooked were invited to the party as guests of honor when GFA-supported (Gospel for Asia) workers celebrated World Food Day.
Teams ministering to the poor and needy in impoverished communities—from hospitals and leprosy colonies to slums and orphanages—served food to groups of often-undernourished men, women, and children as an expression of God’s love for them.
Members of GFA-supported Sisters of Compassion women’s teams took meals to leprosy patients they care for by cleaning house and changing dressings, while other groups distributed food packets as they visited low-income communities.
The events were organized to mark World Food Day, honoring the founding of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, which spearheads efforts to beat world hunger. But, as one group of GFA-supported workers told those they served, “We distribute food not only to observe the day, but to show the love of God to people.”
Among the recipients were families living in a village accessible only by foot, who supplement their meager farming income by gathering bamboo shoots and herbs in a nearby forest to sell at a market. After being served a cooked meal, an 80-year-old man living in the village thanked the visitors for the food and told them, “I feel so good that someone who does not know me cared for me and visited me.”
Another villager said that no one had ever shown such care before, and she had been prompted to follow their example. “When they went and prayed for the sick people of our village, I felt that I too should visit the sick people in the coming days,” she said. “It is a great lesson that I have learned, to love and care for each other.”
The World Food Day meals and food distributions were just part of GFA’s ongoing work among some of Asia’s most needy. GFA-supported workers are involved in a wide range of caring programs, including running Bridge of Hope centers. The centers, where children are fed and receive educational help, also hosted World Food Day programs.
“In scripture, Jesus tells us that those who truly love him will care for people in need, feeding the hungry and visiting the sick,” said GFA founder and director, Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “Our prayer is that through these simple efforts, we not only show our love for God, but are also able to show his love to those we are serving.”
PHOTO CUTLINE: Patients at a leprosy hospital were among those who were served hot meals when GFA-supported teams marked World Food Day to demonstrate God’s love and care for the poor.
GFA (Gospel for Asia) has – for more than 30 years ‒ provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.