In several previous articles, we have shared about the devastating effects that chronic hunger and food insecurity have on students regularly attending school. The teachers of impoverished students can attest that a student's ability to focus and retain information is severely diminished when his or her body is pained with hunger pangs.
Thanks to your generous participation in IDES' Harvest of Talents (HOT) program, thousands of students, orphaned children, widows, and families receive nutritious food in the name of Jesus over long-periods of time (usually 12-months). For many of the students that are recipients of the HOT program food, their meal at school may be the only meal they have each day. Having the guarantee of a nutritious meal each day at school allows a student to spend less time thinking about where his or her next meal may come from, and spend more time thinking about his or her studies.
This phenomenon is beautifully illustrated in a letter that we recently received from one of our faithful mission partners in Myanmar that hosts a school for needy children.
Letter from IDES Partner in Myanmar:
"I am so happy to give you a progress report on HOT grants which we use for purchasing food (rice) for 50 students at our Boarding School in Myanmar.
"We have fifty students from thirty remote villages from in Northwest Myanmar. All of them are coming from very poor backgrounds and their parents cannot support them for their education. They are Christians and need help for their education.
"We mainly use HOT grants for purchasing rice which is the main staple for our students. We provide three meals a day for our students and they get enough food from your donations. As they have enough rice, they all can study without worrying for their daily meals. They can concentrate on their study. It is a great blessing for them and for our ministry.
"On Sunday, we have Sunday school class at 7 am. Then we have main worship service at 10 am. They are very happy for praising God and singing spiritual songs. Our worship lasts from 2 to 3 hours. We enjoy worshipping and praising God with these 50 students! We are so blessed with these needy children.
"Because of your love and donations, 50 poor children are able to have enough food and continue staying at our Boarding School for their education and spiritual growth.
"Earlier this year, two of our girl students, Ms. N.K. Chin and Ms. L.K. Nei passed their grade 10th exam. Only 36.4% of students at the Government’s High School passed grade 10th exam. Now these two girl students have an opportunity to attend College in the future and they will reach their goals. I attached one of the girl student's story below."
Letter from Student:
"My name is N.K. Chin. I give my great thanks to God and to all of you. I’m from a small village and I have two sisters and one brother. My family is very poor.
"My father was drug addicted and was HIV positive and TB (Tuberculosis) positive for many years. He couldn’t work and couldn’t support me since I was very young. He passed away on January 15, 2016 when I was in 9th grade. My mother couldn’t support all of us alone. So my older sister stopped her schooling at 7th grade. When I passed my 4th grade in our village, it became a great burden for me to continue for 5th grade in town. It was a great challenge for my whole family for my schooling.
"I had prayed a lot for my further education. My pastor helped me to get into the Boarding School. God answered my prayers! He is so good to me!
"At the Boarding School, we had enough food and fruits from IDES and I could go to school without worrying for my daily food. I stayed there for six years (2011-2017) and I finished my high school (from 5th grade to 10th grade). I studied very hard and prayed to reach my future goals. We prayed a lot for IDES and the supporting churches and individuals. Because of your love and support for us, I could continue my school year by year (from 5th grade and up to 10th grade).
"Because of your support, I could pass my 10th grade exam in 2017 which was very difficult to pass. Only 36.4% of the students passed the exam at our school. Now, I am qualified to continue for my college. You have opened the way for my future hope! I am so happy and thankful to IDES and the school."
Thank you for making hope possible for these students and thousands of others in 2017. We could not do this without you! Here's to a 2018 that is full of opportunities to continue physically and spiritually blessing others with the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.