June 1 marks the first day of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Last year’s hurricane season was one of the most destructive in recent history, including 17 named storms, six of which became major hurricanes.
Convoy of Hope has served an estimated 1.4 million people affected by the 2017 hurricane season. Convoy continues to serve those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, as long-term recovery efforts continue in Texas and Puerto Rico.
Families in Puerto Rico continue to struggle with power issues, as parts of the island still lose power 2 to 3 times a week. Many there still struggle to repair or completely rebuild their homes from the damages of Hurricane Maria.
Your continued support helps bring relief to those who are most vulnerable to the possible upcoming storms. You can help by donating at convoy.org/donate.
Spreading hope in a community can seem like a daunting task, but as Hope Church in Caledonia, MO. learned, all you need to do is show a little love and compassion.
After attending a Rural Compassion training with Convoy of Hope, Pastor Dale Stringer began serving his community through treat baskets. With some snacks provided by Convoy of Hope, Stinger and his church began filling baskets with treats and taking them to areas of their community. They brought baskets to the local school, fire department, police station, city hall, pregnancy resource center and even business owners in town.
As they continued to deliver baskets around town, they began to run out of the supplies provided by Convoy. However, the church was so excited about serving their community that instead of waiting for another delivery from Convoy they began buying snacks on their own to put into the baskets.
“We really had so much fun going around handing stuff out and blessing people,” Stringer says.
Soon people all over Caledonia knew Stringer and his church members. They looked forward to the basket deliveries. One business owner even began referring to Stringer as “Mr. Hope”.
Opportunities for Hope
As the group continued to serve their community, they saw new ways to spread hope. A few people noticed some community members had trouble getting into a local restaurant, as it didn’t have a wheelchair accessible ramp. So they went back to Hope Church and the congregation raised the funds to build the ramp. Church members also went and personally poured the new concrete ramp at the restaurant.
The community of Caledonia now knows that the people at Hope Church are people they can rely on.
“The basket ministry launched us into this civic duty. The town comes to us for help and knows they can depend on us,” Stringer says.
It doesn’t take much to bring hope to your community. In the words of Pastor Stinger, “a lot of it is just showing love and compassion”.
Gott’s research centers around the timing of planting corn and lablab — a kind of bean native to Africa. Does planting them at the same time cause competition or do they help each other? Is it better to plant them at the same time or weeks apart? This information will help inform Convoy agronomists on the best way to train and educate farmers in our initiative.
From Missouri to Tanzania
The research began in a greenhouse on the MSU campus, but is now being field tested in Tanzania. With the help of Convoy of Hope staff and the ECHO global seed bank, Gott is growing and monitoring her crops in Arusha, Tanzania.
Gott had to consider some cultural and environmental differences when moving her research from Springfield, MO to Tanzania. There are differences in soil types and irrigation practices. She also had to consider cultural practices, as farmers in Tanzania always plant their corn first.
While she is working to help farmers in Tanzania, Gott is also excited to learn from them.
“I’m excited to go to Tanzania — be in the culture, meet the people and see how they do things,” Gott says. “I’m excited to keep on learning new stuff.”