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Singing and clapping, laughing, squealing and children’s feet playing. This is the chorus that greets visitors to the schools and children’s homes where our Children’s Feeding Initiative feeds more than 146,000 children throughout the week. It’s the sound of happiness.

Yet, if you’re reading this blog post on a computer or mobile device, these children have almost certainly never known the comforts of life that you know. In fact, in most cases they have experienced great loss and poverty. It’s what they enjoy, not what they have, that makes them happy.

Enjoy much today.

Then, consider giving something you have to our work throughout the world — you might just enjoy that too!

COMMENT
Inspiration
Jason Streubel, Ph.D and director of agriculture for Convoy of Hope, sits on a Kubota tractor preparing the soil behind our World Distribution Center for a Community Garden. Jason Streubel, Ph.D and director of agriculture for Convoy of Hope, sits on a Kubota tractor preparing the soil behind our World Distribution Center for a Community Garden.

Cultivating Hope with Community Gardens

On a cloudy day in a field behind Convoy of Hope’s World Distribution Center in Springfield, Mo., Jason Streubel, Ph.D and director of agriculture for Convoy of Hope, sits on a Kubota tractor grinning from ear-to-ear.

Here, in the heart of the city of more than 160,000 residents, an eight-foot barbed wire fence surrounds land on one side. On the other, a deer darts into a wooded area. The smell of freshly-tilled soil fills the air.

Streubel will use this half-acre in collaboration with local universities to plant fall crops and conduct variety trials. The team will collect soil samples, monitor growth rates and yield, and harvest crops.

“This field allows us to do research,” says Streubel. “As our organization gains academic credibility, it opens up relationships so that we can improve our techniques and feed more children.”

According to Streubel, the study also provides opportunity for grants that can be used to develop agriculture initiatives worldwide. Community gardens like this one have also been launched to aid the working poor in targeted areas, like Detroit. In Haiti, 3,600 farmers have been trained by Streubel’s team in management practices specific to their region.Cultivating Hope 1 Cultivating Hope 3

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Agriculture / Program Updates

In Plains, Mt., members of this small, rural town of 1,000 are putting their hands to work to meet the needs of their community. One way is by falling, splitting and delivering free firewood to those who need it to survive the tough, long winters of Montana. They’re using local resources to provide local solutions. And helping resource and train them along the way has been members of our Rural Compassion team. Pretty cool stuff.

Pastor Jim Sinclair of Church on the Move is at the helm of this effort and I was encouraged by his quote from a recent interview — “You can only be a sheep for a little while. Then you have to become a ranch hand.”

What steps can you take TODAY to stop being a sheep and become a ranch hand? Share your ideas on Facebook or Twitter and mention @convoyofhope.

COMMENT
Inspiration / Rural Compassion