Children inspiring hope

FH Chief Development Officer Tim Smith with children who inspire hope.

Since becoming Chief Development Officer at Food for the Hungry in 2011, I have spent a lot of time visiting our work around the world.

A consistent heart-changing experience for me in countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America is seeing the inspiring hope inside our communities. To look into the eyes of children who live in the most severe poverty imaginable – and still being able to see expressions of hope in their eyes is more than inspiring. It feels miraculous.

So often, many of us go to the developing world with a desire to help the poor. We want to meet the needs of these children. The needs that scream at you in an environment of extreme poverty – like lack of clean water, hygiene, healty food or a decent education.

But if you walked with me this past year, you would have walked away from these amazing children with your life transformed and realizing there is hope for the poor. At FH, we stand with these children every day!

12-year-old girl who is following her dreams.

For example, I met a 12-year-old girl in the Philippines – who very articulately told me in English about how FH staff helped her continue with her education. She’s a sponsored child. She’s top of her class. And she has a dream of becoming an airline stewardess.

Would she be pursuing these dreams if FH staff hadn’t helped to build her confidence through values training so she knows her God-given value? I don’t know. But I do know that all of us need support to follow our calling – and this girl found it through FH.

As she grows up, she’ll influence others in her community. Her community lives in make-shift homes built on stilts over sewage. As an airline stewardess, she’ll have money to live in a better home. But as FH teaches values of helping others, I’m thinking she’ll be back to help the community where she grew up in to inspire hope in the next generation of children living there. And hopefully, by then, her community will also have improved in so many areas.

Since I first visited the developing world more than 30 years ago, I have always been drawn to the children living in poverty. They have so much potential. FH’s field model is implemented with the child in mind. Our focus builds community and spiritual and physical development around a biblical worldview with the child in mind.

I am always amazed as I have traveled to these impoverished communities by the impact and influence children have on me. At the end of the day, my life has been transformed by these young lives.

Every stop along the way has compelled me to be drawn back to the importance of children in the eyes of God. His value on children: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

Your partnership with us is allowing us to reach these children for Christ. Your sponsorship is letting them know how much Christ loves them. And I want to thank you for joining me and FH in helping theses little ones, who are so precious to God, and to the future of ending poverty.

 

About Tim Smith

Tim Smith has more than 35 years of experience with non-profit organizations in administration, management and fund development. Smith has advised numerous NPO's in leadership, organization and major funding development. He is widely recognized as a leading authority in these fields. His book, "Donors Are People Too" is required reading for many NPO's committed to a ministry-based philosophy when developing a major funding program.Currently, he serves as Chief Development Officer for Food for the Hungry in Phoenix, Ariz.

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