by Matt Wilson
COLUMBUS, OH –-(Ammoland.com)- It’s 2017 and we’ve just finished up another year of feeding the hungry through FHFH. We’ve reached our goal of providing 2 Million Meals annually through 200 chapters across the country!
Now before you think I’ve lost my mind (or that I can’t tell time!), I realize we’ve actually just finished the year 2013. Lord willing, we have three years to go until 2017.
But I believe the next 3 years present an opportunity. Together, we can dramatically increase the number of hungry people we can feed across our nation annually. I’ll revisit 2017 in a bit. Acknowledging the blessings and miracles of the past is the starting point in preparing for a bright future.
In Joshua Chapter 4:1 – 24, Joshua is asked to place 12 stones to commemorate the Lord’s parting of the Jordan River. This miracle allowed the people and priests to pass through the river carrying the Ark of the Covenant.
The stones were intended as a memorial and reminder of the Lord’s mighty work there. A reminder for the Israelite people, future generations, and for the rest of the world. A reminder that would inspire the people to expect even greater works of the Lord moving forward.
Let’s lay some “stones” right now to commemorate where and how the Lord blessed FHFH in 2013.
- New chapters emerged in states such as Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Chapters are being considered in New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina.
- A National Sweepstakes drew attention to FHFH, and gave new contacts and supporters an opportunity to win some great gear from our sponsors.
- New grant opportunities enabled chapters in Ohio, Indiana, and Maryland to aim for increased deer donation numbers.
- Chapters held successful banquets in Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, and Maryland.
- “FHFH Kids” launched to encourage young people to spend time outdoors and share the blessings of their hunt with those less fortunate.
- Feedback from churches and food banks confirmed that deer from FHFH are often the main (or the only) supply of meat they have for the hungry.
So how can we use the lessons and the blessings of the past year to sharpen our vision moving forward?
First we can thank God for His mighty works thus far. Then we ask for and expect even greater works ahead. Are we ready to trust and have faith in the Lord?
In recent years FHFH has provided around 1.5 million meals annually to the hungry of our country. We have 125 chapters serving the needy of 25 states. Yet the problem of hunger in our nation remains challenging. A USDA report in 2012 revealed that 14.5 percent of households (17.6 million) struggle to have enough food from week to week. Where can we possibly find enough food to help feed these people?
Perhaps there is a clue to God’s solution in the recent Time Magazine article “America’s Pest Problem – It’s Time to Cull the Herd” by David von Drehle. See what comes to your mind when you read this quote from Mr. von Drehle…
“Across the country, hunting is poised for a come- back, and not just because the folks on Duck Dynasty make it look like so much fun. We have too many wild animals — from swine to swans. Thirty million strong and growing, the population of whitetailed deer in the U.S. is larger today than it was when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, according to National Wildlife Research Center scientist Kurt VerCauteren.” (We’ll take a further look at David von Drehle’s article in the next online newsletter for March and April.)
It seems the growing issue of hunger in America, our abundant population of wildlife – particularly the white – tailed deer – and a reported rise in hunting interest is creating a tremendous opportunity to expand the FHFH solution of providing nutritious game meat to those in need.
So what is our vision to expand the impact of FHFH for our nation? “The 2×16 Challenge!” This challenge would expand the FHFH ministry to include 200 active chapters nationwide in an effort to provide 2 Million Meals annually to the hungry among us by the year 2016 (2 hundred chapters, providing 2 million meals by 2 thousand 16).
To reach this goal, first and foremost, we’ll be praying… a lot…and we ask you to join us in that effort. Next we’ll be looking at how to strengthen three key areas of our ministry.
- The first area will be to increase support for existing coordinators, and to develop a more targeted approach to recruiting new coordinators.
- The second area of focus will be a more stream- lined approach to fundraising joining the impact of all sources of support. Such an effort will involve a new quarterly mail campaign, an annual national sweepstakes and auction, and renewed support from our sponsors.
- And the third area will focus on public awareness with a new website in the works, fresh campaigns with partnering organizations, and increasing communications detailing the impact of meat do- nations for the hungry. These are just a few of the ways we are planning to help grow and strengthen FHFH as we aspire to “The 2×16 Challenge.”
You’ll be hearing more in the coming months about how you can help play a role in this effort as we trust the Lord to feed more and more people. For now you can pray, share the ministry with others, donate a deer or provide financial support. Perhaps you could serve as a coordinator or know someone else that might be interested.
Maybe you know a group or business that would be interested in partnering with the FHFH ministry to help feed the hungry. On a side note, what stones can you place for the Lord’s work in your own life? What can you and your children look back on with wonder and thanks from this past year? We hope this New Year will bring great and mighty works of the Lord into your life.
What a joyous occasion it will be to “look back on the next three years” and see how the Lord has provided. What “stones” will we be able to place in 2017 for FHFH?
Thank you so much for your support of FHFH. We look forward to feeding the hungry with you this year and beyond!
Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) is an outreach ministry of the people of God called upon to feed venison to the hungry among us nationwide. Visit FHFH.org