John Greenleaf Whittier: Starvation and sharing

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Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9

“Starvation cannot be argued with; the gaunt spectre cannot be laid by speeches and resolutions. We must share our abundance of bread with the hungry. We are a great brotherhood, children of Him who our ancestors called the All-Father, and it is not for us to ask the old question of Cain, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

John Greenleaf Whittier in Day’s Collacon, compiled and arranged by Edward Parsons Day (New York: IPPO, 1884) 892.

Starvation and sharing are on my mind as I flew over some desolate parts of Africa to get to Johannesburg where I overnighted, en route to Cape Town, South Africa.

These topics are also on my mind as the Palmful of Maize vision in Malawi continues to unfold.
The recent report from GTP project manager, Matthew Gadsden, and STUM (Sunday School Teachers United Movement) project coordinator, John Msowoya, brings hope for impact:

– Malawi is divided into 28 districts (like states in USA). Teachers and trainers have been trained by STUM in 6 districts so far.
– 17 traditional and cultural authorities have been reached from the 6 districts. All traditional and cultural authorities in 6 districts are very excited about the project and promised to be supportive of it.
– 72 zones (like counties within states in USA) have been engaged within the 6 districts.
– 432 Sunday school teachers and volunteers have been equipped.
– 60 pastors have been empowered. Pastors’ committees in all districts welcomed the project and STUM was encouraged that it is possible.

The main challenge this year for POM is that some parts of the country had a lot of rain and as well as other challenges linked to the roll out across the country. This challenge will present opportunities for generous sharing to help those whose crops did not do well.

In short, the church in the Malawi needs revival and the lost (whether they come from a Muslim or secular unchurched background) need Jesus. Many will be hungry soon. Believers will have the opportunity to share their maize and serve as their brother’s keeper.

GTP and STUM believe the effort will not only teach generosity to the children. It will serve as a powerful force of evangelism as those whose crops do well will share with the church. The church will dispense 80% of the collected maize to the poor within each district.

The other 20% will be split in half, 10% for administrative expenses, and 10% for missions, that is, spreading Palmful of Maize to other countries, like Zambia and Zimbabwe, for starters. If you want to join this nationwide effort, click here to make a gift to GTP.

To roll out this vision for growing generosity across Malawi, GTP invested $67,000. We got a gift of $10,000 and we have word that an African foundation will contribute $40,000. Please pray with us for God to supply the remaining $17,000. Thanks.