The Good, The Bad, & The Hungry

How did this unique event get started in the first place? As we enter into the 10th year of Rice & Beans Month, Executive Director Dan Holcomb fills us in on the history…

Ten years ago, I took an honest look at our organization. I saw a passionate team dedicated to a relational, grassroots vision of ministry. We were pouring ourselves out on behalf of vulnerable people in East Africa. Our growing Child Sponsorship Program was making a difference in hundreds of lives. We were actively supporting courageous African leaders and their local ministries.

Although these were all good things, I also observed a gnawing hunger creeping in. Our internal spiritual cores were running on empty. Team members, including myself, were suffering from burnout and making big mistakes in our ministry.

We turned to God for help. And we began to learn deeper lessons about Christian spiritual practices that would help to mature us in our faith and prompt us to daily savor the salvation and grace of Christ Jesus. It was during this time of spiritual renewal that we created a very unusual yearly event. We committed to a month of eating more simply and donating the money we saved to buy food for families in East Africa. We called it “Rice & Beans Month.”

Rice & Beans Month helped bring transformation to our spiritual life, and gave us another practical way to care for vulnerable kids. They had a food crisis, we had a spiritual crisis. God used Rice & Beans Month to address both types of hunger. This event now has hundreds of participants all around the world. We’ve been able to provide emergency aid, supplement ongoing nutritional needs for children with HIV, and start sustainable food projects. Participants in the event have found new hope in their spiritual lives, and are more connected to the global body of Christ.

It’s Year Ten of this adventure, and we welcome you to celebrate Rice & Beans Month! Join us in spreading hope within our own hearts and across East Africa, one bowl at a time.