Hunger in Communities of Abundance
By Irene Gallegos
In a recent interview with one of our Texas Baptist Hunger Offering ministries, the ministry leader shared one of the most impactful statements I have heard since beginning my role as Director of Hunger & Care at Texas Baptists. After sharing about the wonderful ways the ministry goes beyond food distribution and engages the community, the leader stated: “It’s easy to neglect and forget that in our communities of abundance, that folks are hungry…” The phrase “communities of abundance” left me with a deeper passion to view the assets in our community and circles of influence to care for people within abundant communities who are lacking resources and basic needs. We indeed live in a nation abounding in material resources. As Texas Baptists, we are a holy nation abounding in the hope of Jesus Christ. We have much to offer a person with hunger, thirst, shelter, clothing, care and connection (Matthew 25:35-36).
The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission created the Hunger Offering in 1995 in order to bring greater consistency and effectiveness in meeting hunger needs. The TXB Hunger Offering supports hunger relief and development ministries in Texas and beyond. This allows us to elevate the importance of both relief (alleviating immediate needs) and development (helping people move out of poverty). TXB Hunger Offering ministries collectively follow Jesus’ model of ministering to the whole person as He proclaimed the good news to the poor, proclaimed freedom for the prisoners, gave sight to the blind, and set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18). TXB Hunger Offering ministries work towards holistic community development in Jesus’ name.
Each TXB Hunger Offering ministry is unique in their services. Some ministries focus on food distribution while others teach agricultural farming or provide wrap-around services to engage in holistic transformation. Through the TXB Hunger Offering, Texas Baptists provide weekly meals to families of inmates at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison facility in Amarillo, food and hygiene items to individuals experiencing homelessness in Austin, food sacks sent home on Fridays for students in San Marcos, harvesting costs for produce prescription boxes to patients suffering from malnutrition in Waco, food for community members in Rio Hondo, food and basic necessities to college-aged students in El Paso, livestock and training on goat husbandry to pastors in Sierra Leone, meals, case management, and parental support to mothers in Mexico City, psychosocial wellbeing services for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, sewing skill training to teenagers and widows in India, and much more.
The needs are great and we are thankful for the willing heart of all who provide these services in the power and name of Jesus Christ. As of November 2022, the TXB Hunger Offering has served over 600,000 people and provided nearly 4 million meals in Texas and beyond. We are grateful for the wonderful partners and ministries who carry out the work in their respective communities. We are truly better together. We are also grateful for the generous support of individuals and churches who give to the TXB Hunger Offering. Texas Baptists have gone above and beyond to give to the needs of their communities. We value the collective impact to alleviate hunger and promote holistic community development in Jesus’ name. We were able to commit to supporting 138 ministries in 2022. Our goal is to provide greater impact for each ministry according to their needs and see the TXB Hunger Offering budget at 1 million dollars. We raised just over $400,000 in 2022 so far and pray for fruitful days ahead. What an impact Texas Baptists have in the lives of single mothers, senior adults, refugees, low-income families, individuals experiencing homelessness, students, and more!
I invite you to consider how you may support the TXB Hunger Offering in three ways:
Will you consider making a one-time or recurring gift to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering? You may give online by scanning the QR code or visiting TXB Hunger Offering Giving. Every penny truly makes a difference and the collective impact will be distributed among nearly 150 ministries in 2023.
Will you join in becoming a TXB Hunger Offering Advocate? You may share the great movement at hand through the TXB Hunger Offering by promoting the TXB Hunger Offering at your local church or other networks. Feel free to check out our website for promotional materials and media content to share. Our common special offering collection dates are 5th Sundays (Jan. 29, Apr. 30, Jul. 30, Oct. 29, and Dec. 31, 2023) and Mother’s Day (May 14, 2023).
Will you pray for the lives of those who receive from the TXB Hunger Offering and for the resilience of the workers who serve in the TXB Hunger Offering ministries? We firmly support the Christian Community Development Network’s position on poverty alleviation as the ministry of reconciliation. We pray for lives to receive the tangible love of Jesus Christ through basic needs and ultimately for their souls to be reconciled to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We also pray for the Holy Spirit’s endurance and kindness in the employees and volunteers who give of their time, talent, and treasure to provide the services. May their hearts and minds not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9) as they do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
We rejoice in the Lord’s work and love through the TXB Hunger Offering and wait in expectation for even greater days ahead.
Please contact our team with any questions you may have regarding the TXB Hunger Offering at email@example.com.
Director, Hunger & Care Ministries