"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." - James 1:27
As we approach the fall season, the IDES Staff and Board starts getting excited about the annual Harvest of Talents events, currently hosted by 6-7 churches throughout the U.S.
In the Fall of 1983, Pat Snyder, a member of Lincoln Christian Church in Illinois, felt conviction in her heart after hearing the preacher's comments on the extreme hunger needs throughout the world. Pat decided that she was going to do whatever she could to help those who were hungry.
Inspired by the scripture verse, 1 Peter 4:10 which states, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms," Pat challenged her own family and her church family to consider how God had specifically gifted them, and how those gifts and talents may be marketed for the purpose of raising funds to feed the hungry worldwide.
Now 32 years later, the Harvest of Talents for World Hunger has expanded to several different churches that regularly host events around the country each Autumn. Cumulatively, the Harvest events have raised a total of just under $3 million--100% of which has been given through IDES directly supporting feeding programs throughout the world.
The funds that are raised are distributed internationally to different partner missions and partner churches in order to set up feeding programs for marginalized communities, such as lepers, orphans, widows, and suffering families. In the months following distribution, we receive beautiful reports of how the Harvest of Talents efforts are bearing eternal fruit.
We recently received the following testimony from one of our partner missions in Northern India:
"Harvest of Talents funds from IDES are an invaluable part of the ministry here...Hunger and undernourishment impact almost one fifth of the population in India, and is very prevalent in the tri-states of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh where [we] minister. Hundreds of children and adults go to bed each night hungry. Through the Harvest of Talents program we strive to eradicate this problem by distributing food and water packets at our food and water distribution sites. It is through these food sites that many, many villagers have come to know Christ by engaging in spiritual conversations with [our] workers as they are being served a warm meal. Through this outreach hundreds have heard the good news of Jesus and have become members of our churches. Many of these individuals now work with us to grow the Kingdom in the Northwest of India. We want to thank you for all you do and for including us in this wonderful program. We cannot tell you how many opportunities to share the Gospel have come from this effort. It is an honor to be a part of this work. May God receive all the glory. "
The food and water that is purchased with the Harvest of Talents funds are a direct link in sharing the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus around the world. Thanks to you, our generous supporters and donors, IDES can continue to bless our partners with this opportunity to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of their suffering people.
Do you think your church family may be interested in hosting a Harvest of Talents event this fall? No matter how big or how small, your congregation CAN make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry and malnourished using your individual gifts, talents, and services. If you would like more information on how to plan for, organize, and host a Harvest of Talents event, please contact us at 317-773-4111 or firstname.lastname@example.org .