Rice & Beans 2021: SEE THE IMPACT!

The participation phase of Rice & Beans Month is long past, but the impact is ongoing! Rice & Beans Month began just as we all entered our second year of pandemic life. We had no idea how that would affect participation, so it is with great joy that we are able to say: The giving total for Rice & Beans Month 2021 HAS REACHED $17,513!

Friends, this is the second-highest total ever, since Rice & Beans Month began in 2010, and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time. The combination of Covid containment measures, flooding, and drought conditions in East Africa made hunger a greater threat than ever in vulnerable communities. Hundreds of you took the call to Simplicity, Solidarity, and Sharing very much to heart, and have demonstrated immense care and compassion. THANK YOU.

Lahash Executive Director Dan Holcomb returned in early June from traveling with our Lahash East Africa team of Edwin Angote, Enrica Wright, and Saggiah Wright. They visited most of the ministry partners across East Africa, even with the various travel constraints of our current era. The reunions were sweet, the hospitality was genuine, the Covid precautions were a bit challenging, and the ministry goals were ambitious. All in all, Dan and the team were deeply encouraged to see firsthand the efforts of our partners in prioritizing food relief and nutrition at each of the locations. Our community of Rice & Beans Month participants is helping to make it all possible!

Enjoy the following photos, and celebrate the life-saving impact of Rice & Beans Month!

The team’s first stop was at Nipe Tumaini in Kenya, where the irrigation projects funded by Rice & Beans Month continue to keep the farm productive and well-watered. In addition to feeding the children and ministry staff at the Children’s Home, Nipe Tumaini was able to share surplus food from the farm with nearby families who were struggling with hunger due to lockdowns. Seeing the thriving farm and thriving children at Nipe Tumaini is always an encouraging reminder of what a difference sustainable agriculture makes in individual lives and entire communities!

Our partners at Path Of Hope serve children in Shinyanga, Tanzania, by operating from three separate ministry locations so that children living in deeply impoverished rural areas can still be reached. It has been a challenge for Path Of Hope staff to travel from home to home to check on the kids during times when gatherings could not happen. But their faithfulness in these efforts made a life-or-death difference every time emergency food was provided for a family that was barely making it. The travel team got to experience this aspect of the ministry by joining the POH team in making a home visit and delivering food to the family of a Lahash sponsored child.

Rice & Beans Month also joined forces several years ago with an existing program in Shinyanga that was providing training and resources in conservation farming and gardening techniques so that families could be better equipped to grow food through seasons of unreliable rainfall. In visiting a local farmer who was part of this initial program, it was plain to see that implementing these techniques can change the entire trajectory of a family’s life by moving them from surviving at a subsistence-level to experiencing growth and long-term stability.

Seeing the kids’ plates piled high with nutritious food at Path Of Hope’s program day is the perfect representation of the enjoyment and happiness that comes with a good meal!

When the team arrived at Grace & Healing Ministry in Tanzania’s capital of Dodoma, they got to visit the poultry project that Rice & Beans funds helped to establish. These chickens continue to produce eggs that help supplement the diets of kids who have significant nutritional needs due to chronic illnesses like HIV and sickle-cell anemia.

Handwashing and hygiene have always been emphasized at Grace & Healing Ministry, and yet the new health threats presented by Covid presented a steep learning curve for their efforts to educate the children and families on best practices for staying safe and healthy. The team was so thankful to see growing, thriving children at this partnership which serves the highest number of sponsored kids!

Albino Peacemakers was the final stop for the team. They knew there were multiple families of children with albinism who had faced extreme hunger not only due to the pandemic but also because of losing crops to flooding. Another complication for this specific partner was that since all the Albino Peacemakers kids attend boarding school, the school closures because of Covid were also “home closures.” As the AP staff worked to get children back to their families, they knew many of them would be facing hunger daily. The entire albinism community of staff, kids, and families was incredibly thankful for all the help they received in the form of emergency food supplies!

These great photos from the team’s travels represent only a small sliver of the wide-ranging impact Rice & Beans Month has on the lives of Lahash kids and their families. Let’s thank God for all the ways this global community is caring for each other through Simplicity, Solidarity, and Sharing!