Bangladesh (MNN) ― Remember the blogger trip we told you about in January?
It's the second time Food for the Hungry (FH) took bloggers to see the transformational work God has accomplished through their projects. The first trip occurred in July 2012, when FH brought several Christian bloggers to Ethiopia.
Joy Eggerichs is the director of Love and Respect Now, a relationship ministry serving 18-35 year olds. She recently returned from the January FH bloggers trip to Bangladesh.
"I've traveled to third-world countries before, but this was really unique," Eggerichs says. "People have been transformed in their thinking, which is having an impact on their marriages...their children, and just the community as a whole."
Eggerichs and four other bloggers got to see how FH brings positive change to communities through child sponsorships. Along with improving the lives of individual children, FH uses sponsorship contributions to advance Bangladeshi communities.
Eggerichs says the educational influence of Food for the Hungry stood out the most to her.
"To sit back and see that in the last 10-20 years, Food for the Hungry has had that much of an impact on something that's such a cultural norm is phenomenal," she says.
The cultural norm she's referring to is the commonplace practice of arranged marriages. Eggerichs recalls a conversation she and fellow blogger, Lauren Dubinsky, had with a group of high school-aged Bangladeshi girls.
"They just couldn't comprehend that we weren't married, and that our parents wouldn't be arranging a marriage," says Eggerichs. She adds that many Westerners "automatically think that arranged marriages are the worst thing ever, and it was just so funny to hear them be so shocked that we [are] autonomous in our decision for who we marry."
She also saw how FH brings new life to communities spiritually.
"Food for the Hungry is very wise in that they want to fully build relationships, and then say, 'This is why we do what we do, because of how we've been transformed by the Gospel,'" says Eggerichs. FH shares about God through their Income Generation groups, she explains.
"Each week has a different theme, and one week per month is all based off of the biblical model for living," says Eggerichs. "Even though [Food for the Hungry] is in a primarily-Muslim country, they don't hide the fact that they're a Christian organization."
Pray that the work Food for the Hungry is doing in Jesus' name would continue. Pray that more communities would be drawn to the transformational work of FH. "If the adults in the community aren't saying, 'Hey, we want to see this happen,' it won't."