When Hungry For Life started in 2003, the vision that boldly breathed us into existence was a world without needless suffering. The Biblical idea that a world without extreme suffering is possible, is why we exist. Shortly after our founding, I came across the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Established by world leaders in the year 2000, the MDGs set out an ambitious task to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2015. The essence of the MDGs, while missing the Biblical motivation, is the same as our vision, a world without extreme poverty. I was totally overwhelmed, and excited, by the thought that if world leaders could plan to eradicate extreme poverty, why couldn't the Church envision and contribute to the same?
From 2000–2015, incredible progress was made. Churches, governments, NGOs and faith-based organizations worked together to carry out the kind of programs and activities that would diminish extreme poverty. However, the job isn't finished. Replacing the MDGs, the Global Goals for Sustainable Development were established to finish the job by 2030.
Why is this important to HFL? Simply put: because the eradication of needless suffering is God's idea. The early church was known for radical generosity that eliminated poverty. The church today should be known for the same. God's people have all of the material and spiritual resources necessary to affect unprecedented global change. The Kingdom of God, characterized in Scripture, is known as a delight: There is food for all, shelter, the old and young are healthy, there is productive employment, and there is an absence of violence (Isaiah 65:17–25). These are all objectives of the global community articulated in the Global Goals.
The Global Goals are important for HFL because we are simply reclaiming priorities and responsibilities that first belonged to God's people. All throughout Scripture we read about God's priority for the poor and marginalized. We read that the Gospel is both word and deed. We read that true religion is caring for orphans and widows. We read that true fasting is feeding the hungry and clothing the cold. We read that if we pay attention to the poor, God will pay attention to us.
Found within the context of a Biblical Gospel, is the responsibility to spend ourselves on behalf of the poor. Not only is this a Biblical responsibility, it is an incredible opportunity for the Church to regain its voice of credibility—realized by a reputation of love and compassion. Where our mandate aligns with the Global Goals, HFL will contribute to the worldwide plan. We will serve the Church in its contribution to demonstrate and communicate the love of Christ, which will result in human flourishing.
Next, you'll read some examples of change; stories of impact. You'll read how Global Goal activity is making a real difference in the Kingdom of God.
Global Goals: Re-envisioning the World
“We will live in a world… where no one goes hungry; where no one wakes in the morning, asking if there will be food today.”
Good Health and Well-Being
Recently, Guatemala Medical Missions had the privilege of seeing their impact on the community of Membrillal. Since their launch (July 2016), they have held three clinics which provided medical and dental care for over 1,600 people. In just a short amount of time, the team realized just how these clinics have improved the health of the community.
Not only have people with diabetes received medication to help control the disease, but they have been educated on making healthy dietary choices—hopefully improving their overall health well into the future. Similar improvements were evident in relation to the oral care taking place in the clinics. Families receive professional dental care every six months and are being taught at a young age how to care for their teeth. Since these clinics take place on a biannual basis, Membrillal has been given peace of mind. They know they will receive basic care for their loved ones.
In addition to all of this, the local church has developed a credible voice—cultivating the relationships formed as a result of these clinics. Connections have been produced that might not have otherwise existed. And, the Church is allowed the privilege of pointing people to Jesus—our one true Healer.
Cochrane Alliance Church has been partnered with Jesus Viene Church in San Raymundo since 2010. In those seven years, they transformed the bare property behind the church into a three-story grade school. This place has impacted the community in incredible ways: bringing people together, creating jobs, and giving children a Christ-centered education (one that has been applauded by the Superintendent of Education). Enthused by the progress, the church and community came together. As a team, they raised money for the third story—without monetary aid from Canada.
With nine teams sent so far, Cochrane Alliance has witnessed the Holy Spirit at work in congregants—both at home and overseas. But, the memories remain. Team members long to be back in Guatemala; to experience selflessness, to serve and to recapture those relationships built on previous journeys.