2023 — 20 years in review

January 31, 2024
Dave Blundell
10 min
Year-end Review
2023 — 20 years in review

2023—Reflecting Back

Dave Blundell, Executive Director

Birthdays and anniversaries are times of celebration and usually a time of reflection, especially the “big ones”. I turned 50 a couple of years ago, and I’m still reflecting on that. This past year, HFL turned 20. As we reflected on 20 years of ministry, the HFL team has been in awe of God’s work. Twenty years ago, a youth group started an international relief and development organization that has impacted millions of people in 27 countries.

HFL continues to grow. Over the past couple of years, our staff team has grown with younger staff, an essential and promising indication of future leadership. Over the past couple of years, we have witnessed a significant increase in partnerships that result in project funding. We’ve also watched a considerable number of volunteer teams return, post-pandemic, to projects overseas.

During our 20th year, it was also time to revisit where we are going, what we do and what guides the ministry. These conversations with our staff and board have refocused our vision, mission, and values. Our vision remains to see a world transformed, but our focus in working towards that vision is to support leaders as they seek to transform their communities. We envision thriving global communities, and our mission is to support leaders to cultivate spiritual vibrancy and human flourishing. While still facilitating projects between communities in the global north and the global south, we will emphasize developing leaders as they strengthen their communities.  

Thank you for contributing to 20 years of fruitful ministry. As we look to the next 20 years, thank you for continuing to partner with us to see thriving global communities develop

From our partners

“I want to thank you personally for the ministry of HFL! You have really blessed our lives this past year, serving our people here in Dominican Republic. Just recently I received heart-touching testimonies from pastors and leaders around DR, communities such as Juan Tomas, New Jerusalem, and the Haitian Villages of Vazca in SPM, describing the joy your ministry has brought and how you have impacted their spiritual and physical lives through the Gospel, prayer and healthcare services provided for them. May the Lord richly bless you and your supporters!”
Carlos Pimentel - Dominican Republic

“I sincerely thank you for partnering with Hungry For Life. Because of the war in Ukraine there are many ways that we have been able to glorify God. We have helped 15,000 people receive food aid and provided approximately 5,000 people with medical care and eyeglasses. This has been a great encouragement and inspiration to us, and we are grateful to you. Let’s continue to partner to change this world that needs attention and care. May God bless us all.”
Michail & Vera Vlasenko – Ukraine

“The philosophy of Hungry For Life resonated with me the first time I heard Dave Blundell speak. He was so genuine in the things he talked about. The way Hungry For Life operates is inclusive – even though the EVE Team is not considered a religious group, they still support us going overseas. They provide the logistics of keeping us safe so that we can do what we do. And they do it in a way that is ethical and supportive.”
Debbie Davidson (Ending Violence Educators Team Leader) - Canada


Najel Otieno, Kenya

Kenya Highschool

Dick Westeringh, Westbow Construction

Silas Oduor was a preacher’s kid in a tiny African village named Yogo. The preacher had no money and was not able to send any of his children to school, but someone sponsored Silas’s tuition. Silas got good grades and was able to get a scholarship to go to high school, then qualified for a student loan for university.

At university Silas met a Canadian girl, married her, and moved to Canada. There he became a microbiologist, he bought a car, a house, and they started a family, now living the dream. Except there was a problem. Silas Oduor could not forget his illiterate village of 3000 which had no school, no potable water, no electricity, not even a road into the village.

Silas and his family decided they would sell their house, sell the car, pack up the baby and go back to Africa to help their villagers. Once there, Silas helped to bring a road, hydroelectric power, a church, clean drinking water, irrigation and modern farming techniques to his village.

Today a high school is being built so the children in his village stand a chance to break the cycle of poverty in their generation. The HFL ripple effect of a penniless kid getting sponsored for school tuition is today impacting thousands of people positively.  

What will our ripple effect be?

International Leadership Training

Traditionally, we as North Americans, have invested in the programs and projects overseas, but rarely have we invested in the people who lead them. Investing in projects but not the people who lead them will lead only to short-term temporary gains rather than long-term, sustainable impacts that transform nations. Our vision of a world transformed must include the development of leaders if we are to see that vision become a reality. To this end, Hungry For Life holds one-week intensive leadership development courses for field partners and leaders who serve with them.  


“Africans were endowed with a lot of resources and potential. You find that every time we see our brothers from the West we play victim; we appear like we can’t help ourselves, that we are poor, and we need aid and relief. I believe that aid and relief won’t help Africa. It is such teachings [from International Leadership Training] that empower us to depend on ourselves, that empower us to think outside the box, so that we consider the valuable resources that we have.”
Pastor James Wanyama - Kenya  

“This topic is very good for me and touches me because in our culture we do not really understand what it means to be a leader and a servant. A servant leader is something we need, and this is what we read about in the Bible. It was very powerful when we learned about four types of leaders, and we were able to see ourselves among those four types. I have the desire to come home and teach our church members.”
Pastor Vitaliy - Ukraine

“I think it’s just lack of knowledge that people don’t have. We just appoint leaders, but we don’t know how to empower them. Because when someone brings an idea, you didn’t have it, but now he has brought it. So with the knowledge that I have, I am going to make use of it so that it impacts others also.”
Esther Nabil - Kenya

God's Timing

TJ Galmut, Director of Communications, HFL

I wrote the following four years ago when I tried to do missions on my own strength and abilities. I spent four months struggling to make connections, find a job in Europe, and keep myself busy. I wrote this as I was coming home. I had run out of money, had no clue what my next steps should be, and felt uncertain about everything.

“I know for a fact this is what I was called to do. My original plan of making videos for missionaries as cheaply as I can is still my goal. I have gone through a lot of emotions trying to figure out what the past 3 months have meant. The feeling of failure is most prominent.Looking back, I can see the timing wasn’t right, nor was my mindset. Also, that it still needed to happen. I have learned many things. I can see what I need to change to make this venture more successful. I was basically broke going into this trip. I had to quit my job due to an injury before I had saved up enough money to cover my costs. I couldn’t finish my paperwork due to complications, and this stopped me from getting a job there. Did I try hard enough? Depends on who you’re asking. All I know is that when the time is right, I will try again, depending more on the Lord than on myself, to share stories of what God is doing in people’s lives.”

A year later, I found HFL... or they found me. God brought me to their doorstep, and I had to face my fear of raising support. Three years later, I am now the Director of Communications; a place I never thought I would be. Looking back, I can see how God has steered my life to prepare me for where I am now. It is much easier to see that God is always at work when we look back. It’s harder if we hold tightly to our own plans, because God is going forward with His plan no matter what. God can use us in incredible ways, especially if we learn to have an open hand.”

We're Hiring!

Director of Development - Full Time

Are you personable, dynamic, and driven to achieve great things? We are seeking an enthusiastic and compassionate person to lead our fundraising and engagement efforts. If you, or someone you know, is passionate about creating positive change in the world by engaging people for the benefit of others, click here to find the full job description and how to apply.

If you’re searching for a meaningful job and want to be a part of a thriving team but being a Director of Development is not where you believe God is leading you, click here for all other roles that are currently available.

Our New Vision & Mission Statements

“We envision thriving global communities.”
“We support leaders to cultivate spiritual vibrancy and human flourishing.”