The least of these

While America was celebrating the Memorial Day weekend with cookouts, burgers and dogs (even in semi-lockdown mode), across the world in Ghana, West Africa, there were people who were wondering where the next meal was coming from. Families struck not only by poverty, forgotten by the church, but also the hardships caused by COVID 19 disruptions in the food supply, were somewhat stranded in time. But something historic is going on. Aided by readers of The Daily Jot, our partner ministry Lifetree Foundation, under the leadership of Pastor William Agbeti, is delivering food to the most needy of the needy in underserved remote areas. So far, over 1,300 have received foodstuffs lasting at least a week.

Agbeti writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a drastic change in our Ministry’s modus operandi–At least for the foreseeable future. From a ministry that was cooking hot meals for malnourished children, we have now become an organization that is supplying fortified and nutritious food items to needy children and their families. Thus, instead of feeding beneficiaries with a meal for lunch, these same beneficiaries now go home with foodstuffs that can feed them for a whole week. Besides, rather than depending solely on volunteers to identify the needy and serve them, the needy can now also contact us directly and volunteers move in to ascertain needs and supply the same.

“Perhaps the most critical turn around in this whole development, in the wake of the CORONAVIRUS pandemic, is the Ministry’s immediate response to pleas from hungry folks who could not be reached by Government with assistance. Without our intervention, volunteers testify that many would suffer the pangs of hunger, possibly leading to deaths. Another significant milestone COVID-19 has brought about our way is the development of our very first small food bank. Owing to price gouging, hoarding and profiteering by farmers, middlemen, transporters, wholesalers, retailers and speculators, we developed a storehouse where we source foodstuffs and keep/hold them for distribution/delivery. The price differentials between foodstuffs in our storehouse and the open market prices often constitute 10-25% off market prices.

“Items in our small food bank include rice, eggs, grated cassava, milk, sardines, ground pepper, onions, tin tomatoes, salt, honey, etc. We are beginning to work with small rural farmers to grow specific food items and sell directly to us. This helps the farmers generate steady incomes, whilst we will be having reasonably priced foodstuffs and regular supplies to serve the needy in rural Ghana. As is written in Mat 25:40: “Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.” This is exactly what we feel like saying to all stakeholders in our service – donors, volunteers, officials, suppliers, delivery folks, well-wishers, etc. Together, we are serving the Lord. It’s all about Jesus – sharing, caring and serving with Christ-like love!”  This is made possible by readers like you!!!!

Bill Wilson