Meet the President of Food for the Hungry, Gary Edmonds

Gary-EdmondsIn this special episode of Poverty Unlocked, we feature the recording of a conference call between U.S. church leaders and the President and CEO of Food for the Hungry, Gary Edmonds.

During the call, Gary shared his heart for the Church and a vision for ending poverty.

Gary Edmonds has come to FH with a strong background of church leadership. He has planted and led churches both in the United States and abroad. He served as Senior Associate Pastor of Mariners Church, a multi-campus church based in Irvine, California. He also led Crossroads Church in Geneva, Switzerland. He has served with Churches Together as well as leading other organizations.

Gary served on the board of FH for eight years before accepting the role of President and CEO in 2014.

To learn more about church partnerships at FH or to learn about future conference calls and webinars, visit FH Church Engagement.

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The Healthiest Way to Give

Today I’m going back to one of the most basic lessons about poverty–one that everyone needs to understand but very few people actually get. It’s the infamous issue of dependency. Listen to this 20-minute episode to become an instant expert on the topic… or at least to get started with what you need to know. Cambodia I also took some time to address the question that everyone seems to ask: What should I do instead? It’s not hard to avoid dependency—it’s really not!—after you grasp a few basic concepts. Let me know what you think of this episode. What else would you add?

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Today’s episode is one of our foundational episodes on the theology of poverty. You can teach this material at your church by downloading our four-week curriculum free of charge.

The Purpose of the Poor

The Purpose of the PoorIs there a positive purpose to poverty? Marty Martin shares his thoughts on the purpose of the poor, which he says is “the elevation of all humanity.”

The story of Lazarus and the rich man, told by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31, illuminates the idea that the opportunity to respond to people in poverty is actually an invitation from God.

Marty also responds to these other common questions.

  • Can we use the story of Lazarus and the rich man to determine who is going to heaven?
  • Are rich people forbidden from going to heaven?
  • How are the poor elevated through their poverty?

Marty Martin serves with Food for the Hungry as Chief Operating Officer for the Global Service Center, Phoenix. Marty has over 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry, relief and development operations, and corporate management in Africa, Asia and North America. Trained as an Air Force pilot he also possesses a Masters degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Humanities degree from Colorado Christian University. Marty has been with Food for the Hungry since 2005.

In the message, Marty challenges listeners to become involved with Food for the Hungry. Check out some of the opportunities for involvement: church partnerships, sponsoring a child, running with FH World Sports, Hunger Corps (long-term service), and careers.

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PU 044: Three Mistakes to Avoid in Short-term Missions

Good intentions aren’t always enough in missions. When churches and individuals go on short-term teams to communities in developing countries, they need to think carefully about the messages they send – not just verbally, but also through their actions. In this interview, Steve Corbett shares three mistakes to avoid when participating in short-term missions.

Other topics in this interview include the distinction between relief and development, choosing asset-based development rather than need-based development, and investing missions money wisely.

Steve Corbett is a featured speaker at Summit 2010. He is an Assistant Professor of Community Development at Covenant College and serves as a Distance Learning Trainer for the Chalmers Center. Steve Corbett co-authored When Helping Hurts with Brian Fikkert.

 

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PU 043: Preventing AIDS Among Women

World AIDS Day is December 1, 2009. In this interview, Carolyn Wetzel shares the story of 36 African women who turned away from prostitution when they were shown a way out.

Carolyn Wetzel is Health Programs Coordinator for Food for the Hungry. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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Change for Life is a new way to bring hope to those suffering from the AIDS crisis, one of the most severe health problems the world has ever faced.

When you get involved with Change for Life, Food for the Hungry will provide your church, Sunday School class, workplace or other group with small containers to collect spare coins for six weeks. As the containers fill up, the accumulation of pocket change will fund programs like the one Carolyn discussed on today’s episode. Get started here.

PU 042: Overcoming AIDS

HIV/AIDS is not only a subject of global concern–it’s an issue embodied by real people every day. In this interview, Kim Buttonow tells the story of a teenager named Claire and the courageous woman who saved her life.

Kim Buttonow is HIV/AIDS Programs Coordinator for Food for the Hungry. Based in Washington, D.C., Kim has worked with Food for the Hungry in countries around the world since 2001.

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Change for Life is a new way to bring hope to those suffering from the AIDS crisis, one of the most severe health problems the world has ever faced.

When you get involved with Change for Life, Food for the Hungry will provide your church, Sunday School class, workplace or other group with small containers to collect spare coins for six weeks. As the containers fill up, the accumulation of pocket change will fund the programs that Kim discussed on today’s episode. Get started here.

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PU 041: Child Headed Households

There are 132 million orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. In some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa,  one of every ten children is an orphan. The need for orphan care is staggering. In this interview, Chad Mower shares about a unforgettable 13-year-old he met in Ethiopia while on an open team. It’s a story of finding hope in a tragic situation.

Chad Mower volunteers as an Advocate with Food for the Hungry. He lives in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

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There are 132 million orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_45290.html. In some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, over 10% of children are orphans. The need for orphan care is staggering. In this interview, Chad Mower shares about a unforgettable 13-year-old he met in Ethiopia while on an open team http://fh.org/help/individuals/teams/join . It’s a story of finding hope in a tragic story.

Chad Mower volunteers as an Advocate http://fh.org/advocate with Food for the Hungry. He lives in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

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PU 038: Ideas Matter (Laying the Foundation #3)

In this third foundational episode, we look at the roots of poverty. If we provide food, health, and education to people living in poverty, will we solve the problem? Or does poverty run deeper?

Key thoughts:

  1. Our understanding of how life works must be defined by God. (Romans 12:2)
  2. When we don’t listen to what God says about how life works, poverty happens somewhere. (Matthew 12:33-35)
  3. Our quality of life is based on the behaviors of ourselves and those around us, and those behaviors are ultimately rooted in beliefs and values.
  4. We must address the root causes of poverty—beliefs and values—in order to make lasting change.
  5. Before pointing fingers, American Christians should examine our own alignment to biblical values.

Mentioned in this episode:

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PU 037: New Heaven and New Earth

Our daily life is influenced by the way we understand heaven and God’s kingdom. In this interview, Beth Allen shares insight gained from reading Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. Beth applies an understanding of the new heaven and new earth to cross-cultural work, the local church, and Christians’ circles of influence.

Beth Allen is Placement Services Manager at Food for the Hungry. She served in the Hunger Corps program as Special Projects Coordinator in Bolivia for four years.

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PU 036: Church Partnerships

Alisa Schmitz answers questions about church partnerships. When a church in the U.S. partners with a community in the developing world, life change occurs on both sides of the relationship. The overseas community can be released from poverty, and the U.S. church can also learn and grow. Ultimately, church partnerships exist to bring about the Kingdom of God.

In this episode…

  1. The goal of long-term church partnerships
  2. Preparation for short-term mission trips and ongoing relationships (Matthew 10:9-10)
  3. Honoring the people we are serving (Ruth 2:15-16)
  4. Keys to ongoing, vibrant relationships

Learn more about Community-2-Community partnerships – long-term relationships between American churches and communities in the developing world.

Alisa Schmitz is Senior Director of Global Engagement at Food for the Hungry.

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PU 035: No Shortcuts (Laying the Foundation #2)

This episode is the second in a series called “Laying the Foundation,” an update on the introductory episodes of Poverty Unlocked.

“’I just brought you the kingdom of God, and it’s a size 7 pair of shoes. But don’t thank me! Thank God…’ Does that strike anybody else as a pretty shallow kingdom?”

There is a difference between converts and disciples. Missional living is connected to wholistic ministry, but we need to make one step beyond living missionally. We discuss handing out food and shoes, and how to share Christ without undermining our message.

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PU 034: The Next Pandemic

The truth about H1N1 Flu, also known as Swine Flu. Carolyn Wetzel explains the pandemic threat, separating hype from real concerns, and analyzes the threat to the developing world. For news on pandemic flu, visit the World Health Organization, the United Nations influenza site, and the US government site.

Carolyn Wetzel is Health Programs Coordinator at Food for the Hungry.

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PU 033: Why We Ship Goods Overseas

Questions and answers about gifts in kind. Are handouts ever appropriate in community development?

Andrew Crawford and Cameron Calabrese work for Gifts in Kind Resources at Food for the Hungry, a department that handles non-cash items going to other countries. In this interview we discuss if and when “handouts” are appropriate, a case study in charging a small amount rather than offering a handout, and Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda. Andrew and Cameron ask, “When was the last time you thought about Bangladesh?”

E-mail Cameron to learn more about shipping costs.

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PU 032: The Birth of Poverty (Laying the Foundation #1)

This episode is the first in a series called “Laying the Foundation,” an update on the introductory episodes of Poverty Unlocked.

Poverty started in Genesis. It was solved by the Christ’s work on our behalf. Because of Christ’s work, poverty can be overcome today, and it will be completely solved when God brings about a new heaven and earth. Understanding the Biblical story of poverty helps us to understand how Christians should respond to injustice and worldwide needs.

Read Walking with the Poor by Bryant Myers to learn more about these foundational concepts.

Contact Wendy to request the new Poverty Unlocked 4-week curriculum for small groups and Sunday School classes.

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PU 031: Surviving an Economic Downturn

People who live in poverty are experts on how to get through tough economic times. Here are some tips learned from people who live on less than two dollars a day.

Mentioned in this episode: Rooftop and Urban Gardening, a resource from ECHO

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