National Lutheran News

LCMS president views Guatemala church projects

The president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Rev. Dr.
Gerald B. Kieschnick, and Food For The Poor executive director Angel Aloma
recently embarked on a three-day “Journey of Hope“ to Guatemala. There, they
witnessed how the Lutheran Church of Guatemala — an LCMS partner — is
working with Food For The Poor to alleviate suffering in the country, where an
estimated 75 percent of Guatemalans live in poverty.

The Lutheran Church of Guatemala has several initiatives underway in the
country. These include water projects, school renovations, orphanages, tilapia
farms, even a unique animal husbandry operation — The Widows’ Pig Farm. This
facility, run by formerly destitute widows, has become a productive business,
empowering the women as successful entrepreneurs and providing an income.

Guatemala, which is slightly larger in land area than Ohio, has a largely
agricultural economy and has been battered in recent years by flooding and
drought. Malnutrition and hunger have become more prevalent.

“While having visited many countries and communities where the poorest of the
poor live, I was moved, … to experience firsthand in Quetzaltenango,
Guatemala, the plight of some of the people served by Food For The Poor,”
Kieschnick said. “These are truly destitute people, but by the grace of God and
the fine work of Food For The Poor, aided by the people of the Lutheran Church
of Guatemala, these people, many of whom are women and children, not only
are receiving assistance of food and clothing for their daily sustenance, but also
are learning skills that are enabling them to support themselves.”

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization
in the U.S., serves the poor of the Caribbean and Latin America. It provides food,
emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, basic
housing, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise
development assistance. For more information, visit www.foodforthepoor.org.