Believe it or not, we have been asked by people why we help the children in Honduras and Nicaragua. Some believe that we should put all of our efforts into starting Churches and Evangelism and less on feeding and educating the poor children in the areas that we minister in. At first, I would just answer and say "Because Jesus did" but then I realized that it was important to explain why we are so passionate about helping the poor and needy.
It is basically a short story, an event that happened in 1983 in a village in Honduras called Azacualpa. Bob and Joan Tyson had started a Church in this village and every Sunday morning they would drive about an hour each way to teach Sunday School to around 100 children and 40 Adults. Azacualpa was hot, dusty and extremely poor. Water could not be found anywhere and a drought had hit this area of Honduras. The only food these people had to eat were green grapefruits which for some reason grew in this horrible place. Temperatures would rise around 120 degrees during the day. Disease was everywhere. I was 14 years old and I remember spending many days translating for an American doctor who once a week would attend to the sick.
Joan Tyson, my mother, started noticing that every week a couple of children were missing from her class. She found out that every week one or two children had died of starvation or some type of sickness related to malnutrition. At that time, there was not a "Feed the Hungry Program" or any extra funds to buy food for this village.
One Sunday after Church, Mom and Dad were sitting outside the Church eating some hot sardines and drinking a hot coke for lunch that someone had given them. A little girl never took her eyes off of my mother. She was peeling a green grapefruit which was probably her lunch for that day. My mother started imagining what the little girl could be thinking, "Why does the Missionary get to eat sardines and drink a coke and all I have is a green grapefruit to eat". Mom was sure that the little girl was probably not thinking this but the Holy Spirit touched my mothers heart. She told my father, Bob Tyson, "I cannot teach these children about the love of Jesus and not try to do something to help them physically".
A couple of weeks later, she wrote a letter to their supporting Churches in the United States asking them to help her feed hungry children. Wrenn Memorial Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina was in the middle of a Jubilee when they received the letter from my mother and they decided to give the offering from the Jubilee to my mother to feed hungry children in Honduras. This is how the Feed The Hungry Program was started.
At first, mom was only going to give powdered milk to the most needy. She did not know if anymore funds would come in. God had greater plans. Today over 3,000 meals are served everyday in 30 different villages in Honduras and Nicaragua. The money has never run out. There is never any surplus, just the right amount each month to purchase the food and distribute it to the children.
So the question is "Why should we help Children?" Because as Christians, we have the responsibility to help the poor. Why? Because Jesus said so. Not only did He say so but He put His words into action. I cannot add up how many children have received Christ as their Savior in all of these years. Only God knows. We don't make children go to church to get a meal. This is unconditional love, but they do go, their parents go, their uncles and aunts go. Church is now their sanctuary and a place where they feel loved. Back in 1983, there was around 20 churches. Today there are over 200 churches filled with people who love God. We make it very clear that the blessings that they are receiving comes from the Lord. He provides by touching Christians hearts in other countries to sacrifice so they can receive a good meal everyday.
The Feed The Hungry Program in Honduras and Nicaragua is an import part of our ministry but it does not take the place of our main goal of winning these children to Christ, THE CALLING, that sent Bob and Joan Tyson to the mission field in 1968.
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Philip Tyson is the Oldest Son of Bob and Joan Tyson, founders of the Good Samaritan Baptist Mission.