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World Hunger Day

Sunday observance embodies compassionate evangelism.

World Hunger Day, observed this year on Nov. 22, is an annual emphasis in the Assemblies of God. The Fellowship doesn't just address physical needs, but recognizes that the gift of food to needy people demonstrates the concern and care of Christians.

AG World Missions is able to effectively respond to hunger crises overseas through cooperating national AG fellowships around the world. Contributions through World Hunger Day enable those in local churches throughout the world -- even in some countries where AG missionaries cannot openly minister -- to reach their communities.

In 2015, three major AGWM/Convoy of Hope joint relief efforts have helped tens of thousands of people. Following the spring earthquake in Nepal, families suffering bereavement and the loss of their homes were fed and sheltered. Vanuatu's Cyclone Pam had a much lower cost in lives, but left a path of devastation. Ministry teams on those islands were able to distribute food and clean drinking water. The continuing Europe refugee crisis includes long-term nutritional needs, particularly for children and babies among those traveling on foot. Missionaries and ministry teams are providing food, clothing, cooking stoves, and other resources in refugee camps across Europe.

One of the most pressing hunger needs right now is in Europe, as hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing violence and death because of ISIS terrorists.

Assemblies of God missionaries are ministering to refugees in seven countries of Europe, and Convoy of Hope Europe is doing so in four countries. Donors can help meet this long-term need by visiting crisisresponse.ag.org, where videos further explain the crisis.

Historically, some denominations' compassion initiatives have lost their evangelistic focus. The Assemblies of God always attempts in some way to share a clear presentation of the gospel with ministries of compassion and to connect people with a local church.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians that God will enable followers of Christ to have all they need in order to have "an abundance" for "every good deed" (2 Corinthians 9:8, NASB). Christians are blessed financially so they can be "generous on every occasion" (2 Corinthians 9:11, NIV).

World Hunger Day is a "united act of compassion," through which Christians can do far more together than they can possibly do separately. Compassion ministry should always integrate with sharing the gospel and establishing the church. With every food relief project, AG missionaries and Convoy of Hope teams -- as all like-minded believers committed to the Great Commission -- attempt in some way to share the good news of Christ and connect people with a church. In some countries, compassion ministry is the primary means through which doors open to the gospel. When the goal is to do more than serve people's physical needs, the lost are consistently reached with the good news about Jesus.


Randy Hurst

Randy Hurst serves as Special Consultant to the AG World Missions Executive Director.