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By Robin Stephenson
Children are our most precious resource, and they hold a special place in the kingdom of God, but not all children start with the same advantages.
Baby Selby is growing up in El Porvenir, Honduras, where almost 40 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty. Life in the community is not easy. Selby’s father migrated to the United States so he could take care of his family. The money he sends home purchases the nutritious food that Selby needs to thrive.
But there is a price to pay; Selby is growing up in a family torn apart by the need to survive and the call of economic opportunity that pushes migration from Central America.
In the Western Hemisphere, three countries - Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras - are home to millions of children who, unlike Selby, don’t get the nutrition they need to thrive. Throughout Latin America, malnutrition leaves a mark on the lives of 6.2 million children and robs them of their God-given potential.
When a child does not receive the right food, physical and cognitive stunting can result. Studies show the cost of stunting is high in terms of health care, school readiness, length of education, and lost productivity and income.
Many countries in Latin America celebrate Children’s Day starting this month. It is a day to show children that they are special. We teamed up with Guideposts’ OurPrayer Ministry and are asking the cloud of witnesses to pray for an end to child hunger and malnutrition.
This week we are praying for Selby and the millions of children in Latin America struggling to survive and thrive. Prayer reminds us that God is calling us to be a light in the world and put our faith in action. When we follow prayer with action, we begin to to transform the world into a place where everyone has enough to eat.
As part of our 2016 Offering of Letters: Survive and Thrive, we are asking Congress to put $230 million into the State Department Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill's Global Health Account – the account through which U.S.-led nutrition programs are funded.
Early nutrition interventions can have positive and long-lasting effects on a child’s future. In Guatemala, twins Sheili and Alexander are thriving, despite living in extreme poverty. A nutrition program, funded through the Global Health Account, reached them with the vital assistance they needed, before it was too late.
Investing in global nutrition could reach more children like Sheili and Alexander and reduce the need for the migration that left Selby without her father at home.
Join us in prayer this week and ask God to direct our steps so that we can end malnutrition. Then put your faith in action and tell Congress to invest in nutrition and invest in children, because every child is a gift from God and deserves to be treasured.
Robin Stephenson is the national lead for social media and a senior regional organizer at Bread for the World.
Throughout Latin America, malnutrition leaves a mark on the lives of 6.2 million children and robs them of their God-given potential.
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
The Bible on...
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.