“The World is a Handkerchief” and Other Sayings from a December Staff Gathering in Phoenix

I’ve learned two new sayings this week. They are: “The world is a handkerchief” (from Bolivia) and “A mosquito can’t bite you unless it gets close to your skin” (from Ghana).

Where does this new knowledge come from? I am sure you are wondering where you can find such gems! (wink)

Well…first let me tell you what the sayings mean.

“The world is a handkerchief” means we are all connected, like the woven cloth of a hankie.

“A mosquito can’t bite you unless it gets close to your skin” means only people whom you have close relationships with can really hurt you.

My discoveries come from “shooting the breeze” with FH staff who are gathered from around the world in the Phoenix office this week. Here’s the official write up. The gathered staff are involved in a lot more than catching up with me, yet it’s still great to see co-workers face-to-face, who come from many contexts, and share the pursuit of serving the most vulnerable around the world.

I wanted to introduce some of these staff through photos (below) and at least share their names and positions within FH.

Quite a few staff and board members read portions of Scripture aloud this morning in chapel. They read verses that encourage and guide them in their work with FH. So, in between the photos (which are my very non-professional snapshots), you’ll see the verses they pointed us to.

I’ll close with another expression. These are people who really know where “the rubber hits the road” in working against global poverty. They have personally experienced and walked alongside people in very difficult contexts. They are people who ensure that the financial and other resources entrusted to FH are used in the most impactful way possible. And they are not giving up…and they don’t want you to give up either. Thanks for standing with them.

Yves Habumugisha, Country Director South Sudan , Maria McCulley, Director Government Finance and Keith Wright, International President.

Yves Habumugisha, country director South Sudan , Maria McCulley, director government finance and Keith Wright, international president.

Shared by Keith Wright, international president: Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

Beth Allen, External Communications Manager and Victor Cortez, Regional Director Latin America.

Beth Allen, resource manager and Victor Cortez, regional director Latin America.

Shared by Victor Cortez, regional director Latin America: For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:17)

Anthony Koomson, Deputy Director Africa,  Andrew Crawford Director Gifts in Kind and Ryan Brown, Sr. Director Responder Operations

Anthony Koomson, deputy director Africa, Andrew Crawford, director gifts in kind and Ryan Brown, senior director responder operations

Shared by Anthony Koomson, deputy director Africa: You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Three in foreground: Ryan Smedes, Director Food Security & Livelihoods, Oscar Montes, Country Director Bolivia and Peter Mogan, Board Member.

Three in foreground: Ryan Smedes, director food security and livelihoods, Oscar Montes, country director Bolivia and Peter Mogan, board member.

Shared by Gary Edmonds, board member: “…to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit…. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:2-4)

Ben Hoogendoorn, President of Food for the Hungry Canada and Yves Habumugisha, Country Director South Sudan

Ben Hoogendoorn, president of Food for the Hungry Canada and Yves Habumugisha, country director South Sudan

Shared by Andy Barnes, regional director Asia. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:16-18)

Tina Bolding, Chief Human Resources Officer, Scott Aminov, Country Director Indonesia and Tim Danz, Chairman Bangladesh Executive Office

Tina Bolding, chief human resources officer, Scott Aminov, country director Indonesia and Tim Danz, chairman Bangladesh executive office

Shared by Tina Bolding, global human resources officer: And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Karla Lipari, Administrative Assistant and Barbara Chapman, Executive Assistant.

Karla Lipari, administrative assistant and Barbara Chapman, executive assistant.

Shared by Shep Owen, regional director Africa For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

David Evans, U.S. President, Marty Martin, Chief Operating Officer and Ro Martin, spouse..

David Evans, U.S. president, Marty Martin, chief operating officer and Ro Martin, spouse.

Shared by Marty Martin, chief operating officer: And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. (Matthew 9:35)

Luis Noda, Global Executive Officer Field Operations, Leena Samuel, Senior Program Officer (disaster relief), Andrew Crawford, Director Gifts in Kind and Tony Alonzo, System Administrator

Luis Noda, global executive officer field operations, Leena Samuel, senior program officer (disaster relief), Andrew Crawford, director gifts in kind and Tony Alonzo, system administrator

Shared by Luis Noda, global executive officer field operations: …because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know. (Job 29:12-16)


About Eileen O'Gorman

Sometimes I think I am incessant middle child. I find myself in the middle of things a lot. Right now, in particular with my work in communication for Food for the Hungry, I find myself in the middle—maybe a bridge builder—between “worlds.” However, what seems like many worlds all occupying one planet, is actually one grand world that God created. I just can’t get a handle on that! Mostly I hope that my work helps bring reconciliation in this world and that, by grace, we can see good things happening – on earth as it is in heaven.

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