Friday, December 12, 2008

Pray for Priscilla

Please pray for Priscilla, a young lady from Bulenga, Uganda.  About a year ago her brain swelled so much because of a complication from AIDS that she lost the ability to talk or walk.  She was hospitalized and the condition persisted for months.  Many people prayed extensively, God intervened, and she recovered.  Well, the same complications have just happened again.  Pastor Solomon from Good News church sent the following message:
"I'm requesting urgent prayer for one of my kids at the Academy, Priscilla Natugonza, who is battling with full blown AIDS.  She is in Hospital with a swollen brain, she missed the end of year exams because of that disease, she is trying to talk with a lot of difficulties, she is one brave kid who never misses church, even the all night prayer meetings when she is strong. Last time she was this sick, I called for prayer and she got better and out of hospital, I believe even this time we will join our faith and pray for this girl.  Thank you very much.  Solomon"
I was just at the Bulenga church three weeks ago and Priscilla caught me outside after the service and gave me a big hug… she first squeezed me and said, “Thank you for bringing all the food for us at school!” and then she said, “Mr. Stefan can you please pray for me that I make it to eighth grade.”  Priscilla had finals coming up.  I prayed a simple prayer for God’s hand to be upon her and for the Holy Spirit to help her study and do well and thought to myself… “she’s got nothing to worry about when it comes to doing well at school.”  

As Pastor Solomon noted-- she wasn’t able to take the exams to graduate from grade seven.   Priscilla is such an articulate, intelligent, and cheerful girl.  She wants to be a medical doctor so she can help people.  Please earnestly pray for Priscilla and ask other people of prayer to do so as well.   Here's a two minute video we filmed with Priscilla  a few months ago:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beautiful Burundi

"Breathtaking" is the only way to describe the beauty of this nation and its people. In reality, it simply cannot be described, it has to be experienced. From the lush green mountain landscapes to bustling Bujumbura on the shores of Lake Tanganyaki, it's hard to take it all in. Add to the mix the unique, sophisticated, resilient, progressive Hutu and Tutsi peoples... and the precious Twa (known as 'pygmies' in colonial times) and you have an African nation like no other. Known as the heart of Africa for its location in the center of the continent and cardiac shaped boundary, Burundi will one day be the apple of the world's eye... it just has to happen.

Feed The Hungry's first container of 270,864 fortified rice meals provided by Feed My Starving Children arrived in 'Buj' about two weeks ago. On Monday the pilot school-lunch program for vulnerable kids started up in one school in Gitega and one in Rutana. ARM, an outreach of Pastor Edomond Kivuye and Eglise Vivante, oversees the project on the ground. Teams of parents and community volunteers take turns prepping and cooking the rice meals each day during the school week, which is no small task considering there are 1,900 children at both of these schools. Education has become a priority for this formerly war torn nation-- it is one of the very few countries in Africa where parents and caregivers do not have to pay tuition for public education. Peace has returned in measure since 2005, yet there is one rebel group that still lurks in the shadows, having rejected the negotiating table. The last violent outbreak was in April 2008 when rebels launched mortar attacks on the capital city.

Photos from this week's visit to Burundi can be found at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

South Sudan, Full of Hope and Victory

Back in Yei, pronounced Y-A-Y! And it's an onomonopeia for sure... google the definition if need be.

It's the end of the rainy season in Yei; the market is brimming with home grown fruits & veggies, honey is in abundance, and the town and people always seem to look better & bigger & brighter every time I come back. Just to be fair & balanced, the mozzies are plentiful too, as are the grasshoppers (though we haven't seen the fresh-roasted variety in the market stalls yet).

New Generation Primary School is brimming with eager young students too. Pastor Stanley and Lady Vicki & staff are raising up a New Generation of faith-filled movers & shakers to be; and the vision of school numbers two and three is on track... now if we only had the resources to buy the bricks & get construction going right now...

Keep Stanley & Vicki and all the staff and kids in your prayers... life isn't always easy, but God is always good and he just has a way of doing more than we can ask or think.
You can see a few more of today's pics at

Friday, September 19, 2008

FTH 'POD' Set Up in Galveston County, TX

Pastor Walter Hallam and the fantastic people of Abundant Life Christian Center in La Marque, TX are doing a fantastic job of getting resources into the hands of people & families who've lost homes and possessions because of Hurricane Ike. Feed The Hungry's POD (Point of Distribution) has been up and running since Wednesday. So far two tractor-trailer loads of supplies are being distributed at ALCC's gymnasium. Two more trailers full of supplies will arrive on Saturday to keep the POD going.

Everyone who comes by has a story to tell. In addition to putting family care bags into each car, ALCC volunteers lend a listening ear and an encouraging prayer. Let's keep praying for God's hand to bring restoration to those who have lost so much.

By the way ALCC's sanctuary was severely damaged by Ike, about 1200 sf of roof ripped off and rain waters poured in... many of the volunteers who are helping have had damage to their homes, clothes, and possessions as well... yet they've chosen to reach out and serve others even in their time of need. Isn't that just like Jesus.
More on the way...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Seeing Ike's Aftermath Firsthand

Here are a few photos snapped today from Bayou Vista. As usual, photos & video cannot capture what you see as an eyewitness. Have you ever seen food shelves at a Super Wal-Mart laid bare?? We stopped by two Super W-M's today to see if they'd donate grocery bags so volunteers can break down the two tractor-trailerloads into family sacks... both stores donated lots of sacks! At each Wal-Mart, police manned the entrance, only allowing 30 customers into the gigantic stores at a time (because staff numbers are so low)... and in each Super Wal-Mart, several shelves had no food left on them.

Feed The Hungry's first truck arrives in La Marque, TX at 8:00 am Wednesday; the second truck had brake line problems and will arrive Wednesday night or first thing Thursday morning.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's 1:00 AM and we're packed and ready to roll @ noon Monday. Our team of three will head to LaMarque, TX to set up a distribution center at Abundant Life Christian Center. ALCC is a partner church of about 2500 members located right off of Interstate 45 a few miles from Galveston Island. LaMarque is 23’ above sea level so the storm surge just missed it. They did have a lot of wind damage & rain water damage though—the church lost about 1,000 square feet of roof. We believe the location is ideal to serve a large number of communities as the area opens up after the flood waters recede & returnees start arriving in the next few days (or next week). FTH will have two trailers of food & water supplies arriving at 6:00 am Wednesday morning, a third trailer of food supplies will arrive on Thursday morning. Please pray according to what's posted @ FTH's site THANKS!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Feed The Hungry @ World Pulse Festival

Wow... what a great day!! Have to honestly say this was the BEST World Pulse Fest i've ever seen in 13 years. Fantastic weather, huge crowd (50,000+), awesome music & worship. You can catch a repeat at

This year we promoted's that??? Simply put $6 for 100 meals... for every $6 we recieve, Feed The Hungry can send 100 meals to hungry kids in Africa and Asia; kids that we get to bless, encourage, and see grow in Christ through the Every Child Every Day program.

If you'd like to find out a little bit more about just go there and check out the website. We hope to get an online store up and running pretty soon so the World Pulse Fest-goers are'nt the only folks who get to wear the cool t-shirts we had for sale that day (which say "my shirt fed 100 kids" on the back).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Back in Africa

Man, do I love this continent!! This past week we've had the opportunity to revisit a few FTH Every Child Every Day sites as well as some new outreaches where children are receiving a hot & nutritious meal courtesy of the friends and partners of Feed The Hungry.

Brian Bush, LeSEA's Middle East Correspondent and Meg Gorecki from Doug Shaw & Associates traveled to Kibera, Kenya (the world's second largest slum); Bulenga and Banda, Uganda; and even up into Yei, Sudan to chronicle how a simple daily school lunch program is making a huge difference in the lives of children that are hungry... for education. At New Generation School in Yei about 90% of the children have lost either one or both parents to AIDS or the war. Pastor Stanley has brought these precious ones under the shadow of God's loving arms and is creating a expectation of promise and hope by allowing them to dream again.

FTH President Pete Sumrall, Lamar Austin, Dr. Todd Coontz, and I followed behind Brian and Meg, touching base with our operational partners in each place. This has been Dr. Todd's first trip to Africa and he's travelled like an old pro and has learned the true meaning of the phrase 'T-I-A'... This Is Africa! If anyone needs an unforgettable lesson in the power of patience, just come to Africa with us sometime... you'll be glad you did.

Hope to post some photos shortly either here or on at; the expressions of the children are priceless and thier joy is nothing short of contagious!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 9, 2008 4 Nations Africa...God works in Burundi!

Just a quick 1 am note before we head out to Uganda in the morning. Edmond is the leader (International Director) of ARM (African Revival Ministries) and is the Senior Pastor of Eglise Vivante, the largest evangelical church in Burundi; ARM has a significant outreach ministry with two schools in Bujumbura, several AIDS clinics, a medical clinic, a church planting network (about 220 churches at present), and a surgical hospital in addition to a host of other outreach programs. Pastor Edmond/ARM is recieving the food shipment sent by Feed The Hungry; the fortified rice meals will be used to initiate school lunch programs.

At dinner last night Edmond said, "When you came to service on this morning you looked so familiar. Now I know where I've seen you before! I see you on Harvest on FETV all the time!"

We had fantastic meetings with the President, His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, the personal advisor to the President on Education, the Minister of Youth and Sports, and the Deputy Ambassador and Vice Consul of the US Embassy.

His Excellency and the First Lady are both people of great faith toward God and love toward the people of Burundi. Some of the attached photos are of the President leading worship at his residence on Sunday night... we were invited to attend this meeting where he & his cabinet and invited guests thank God for the things He has done during the previous week, to intercede for the people and nation, and to thank God for the things He will do in the coming week. Pastor Edmond shared a message out of Nehemiah as well. The President's favorite song is My Redeemer Lives (Hillsong) and boy did they get to dancing on that one! The choir is made up of former fighters who stayed with him in the bush after he was shot and left for dead.

The President has made public education for primary school children free, which is uncommon, if not unprecedented, in Africa... as a result there has been a flood of new primary students in the schools, children who were unable to attend school because of poverty. He is building 120 new schools in the rural areas to accomadate the new kids and establish new schools.

None of the schools here have lunch programs... at the two public schools we visited (one had 1,090 students the other had 570 students) some of the kids walk to school 7km (about 4 miles) one way... about half of the kids had no shoes, where Feed The Hungry and Samaritan's Feet come in, and none of the kids brought lunch with them. The school operates from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm; the younger kids attend half day, the older kids (grade 4-6) attend full day. At the schools Feed The Hungry will be serving, ARM will coordinate leaders from local churches to conduct VBS style bible education for each class every week as well as oversee and administrate the food disbursements.

We also visited a Twa village today; Twa is the tribal name of the pygmies. They are an ostracized and neglected minority (1-2% of the population). They are VERY welcoming and hospitable and we had a great time with the whole village of about 65 families.

God Bless, it's on to Uganda in the morning!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Myanmar Cyclone Relief

The reports from our contacts on the ground describing the devastation reminds me of the Tsunami in 2005 -- the scope and depth of the destruction is beyond what words or pictures can convey.

Millions are now homeless, there is no power, no running water and people are looting stores to survive. Two of the churches we know have generators to provide power, so they can be set up as relief centers, but they have no supplies to help the overwhelming number of survivors. Feed The Hungry is purchasing food, blankets, plastic sheeting, and other first-response supplies in Yangon to meet the need.

One of the most critical issues during crises like this is the need for clean drinking water. Without clean water, cholera and dysentery will be imminent. Feed The Hungry has purchased 2 Vortex portable water purification systems which can produce over 1,400 gallons of life-sustaining pure drinking water a day.

Our plan is to transport relief supplies from Thailand to the FTH relief centers as soon as possible. Buying food, blankets, tarps, etc. in Yangon is costly but it must be done-- bringing supplies over from Thailand will provide more buying power.

At times like this, cost is not an option.. we have to do whatever it takes to help save the lives of the vulnerable-- i.e. the old, the young, and the sick-- and that means buying supplies in country for the time being.

Please pray for the survivors, the church, and for all the aid agencies doing their best to bring help to Myanmar during this critical situation.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

PulseFM Sends Hope to the Hungry

Pulse FM 96.9 in South Bend, IN dedicated 24 hours of airtime to raise awareness and funds for Feed The Hungry projects in the Amazon basin (Colombia, Brazil, & Peru), Liberia, Cambodia, Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan.

The PulseFM audience was amazing... so many calls, so much support!! Over $84,000 was raised in 24 hours!

If you've never listened to PulseFM, you should check them out at

Can't wait to post photos & reports from the mission projects above showing the great work PulseFM is doing through FTH.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

News from Darfur, Sudan

Over the last few months, Feed The Hungry has sent containers of meals to Niger, Benin, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Swaziland. Most have made their way through Customs & government red-tape and into the hands of people in real need of NOW help.

Two containers carrying 541,720 fortified rice & soy protein meals destined for the people of Darfur have gotten 'stuck'... momentarily. Please take a minute and put a prayer before the God of Heaven & Earth that these two containers will get 'unstuck' and speed their way to South Darfur.

This is a photo of Haija, a semi-blind widow. During one of the Darfur food distributions in 2007, Haija showed up as the trucks were unloading their grain and began to pick up the bits and pieces that fell from the 50 kilo sacks. The workers told her, "Come back tomorrow, that's when the distribution will take place." But she continued to 'glean' what she could. Haija and the unknown widows, women, children, elderly, and others having to get by day by day are why we have to see the two containers in Port Sudan released and on their way to Darfur asap.

I love the simple, powerful, clear cut take-it-or-leave-it way that Jesus communicated with those who followed him and expressed their questions & concerns.

"With men these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible"... even liberating 42 tons of much needed food supply from the hands of an apathetic and antagonistic government bureaucracy. Jesus followed up by saying "All things are possible to him who believes"-- trusts in, relies on, and clings to.

When we come to him with questions & concerns, he puts the ball back in our court and points us upward to trust in, rely on, and cling to the God who considers our "impossibles" nothing more than ordinary.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The World's A Crazy Place

Thinking about Haiti, Zimbabwe, Kenya, China/Tibet today and the friends we have in each of these places... just met a guy here in South Bend yesterday with family in Gaza for goodness sake...

Billy Joel lyrics keep creeping into my head too...

birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again, Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock, Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline, Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide, Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz, Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law, Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore

"We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning"... what a philosopher.

Yet in every place and in every situation God hasn't left himself without a witness; his people doing his work, making sacrifices, standing in the gap, executing justice and mercy, being salt and light to counter the decay and darkness in the world... the hands, heart, and feet of Jesus in living color, demonstrating His love in word and action.

I can hear his comforting words to those who choose to take the road less traveled and follow him, "In this world you will suffer trouble, but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world." And the beloved Apostle John, "For this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith."