Global Recipe: Jaden's Potstickers

Jaden’s Potsticker Dumplings

These Chinese potstickers are a bit time intensive, but delicious. For a step by step tutorial on how to make them check them out here.

Prep Time: 60 minutes    Cook Time: 20 minutes    Servings: 40

Ingredients:

FOR THE WRAPPERS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup just-boiled hot water

1/3 cup iced cold water

FOR THE FILLING

8 ounces minced or finely shredded cabbage (Napa or regular)

8 ounces ground pork (ground meat of your choice)

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

freshly ground white pepper (or black)

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

2 tablespoons minced chives (Chinese or regular)

4 ounces diced water chestnuts (canned is fine)

3-4 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely diced

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

 

 

Directions:

PREPARE THE WRAPPER DOUGH:
To a large bowl, measure in the flour and the salt. Pour in the boiled water and stir the flour immediately and vigorously with a large wooden spoon until the flour resembles loose crumbles (about 30 seconds). Pour in the iced-cold water (discard the ice first, but make sure you have correct measurement of water). Stir vigorously again for 30 seconds or until a shaggy dough begins to form. Set aside spoon and use your hands to knead the dough in the bowl, while picking up flour/dough on the sides of the bowl. Knead for 2 minutes in the bowl. Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. No need to dust the work surface with flour - unless the dough really sticks). The dough should be soft and elastic enough that kneading is very easy. Continue to knead your dough for another 3-5 minutes. As you knead the dough, it should become more smooth. In a medium sized bowl, plop in the dough ball, cover dough loosely with a barely damp paper towel and then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest for 20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

PREPARE THE FILLING
In a bowl, mix the shredded cabbage with 1/4 teaspoon of salt (1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, if using.) Set aside while you move on to next step of recipe.
In a separate bowl, mix the ground pork with soy sauce, ground pepper, cornstarch, rice wine (if using) and sesame oil. Add in the chives, water chestnuts and mushrooms.
Back to the cabbage - grab a handful of cabbage, squeeze hard to expel the water into the sink. Add the dry cabbage into the bowl with the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix well. You can cook a spoonful of filling in a small frying pan for a taste, if you'd like.

 

 

PREPARE THE WRAPPER
Turn out the rested dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half, keep unused half under the damp paper towel to prevent from drying out. Roll out the other half into a long snake, about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Cut into approximately 20 even pieces. Take 1 piece, gather up the edges and pinch together, forming a taut, round surface. Roll between palms to form ball. Squash between flat palms to flatten into disk. Use rolling pin to roll out to 3-1/2 inch diameter. Try to make the edges of wrapper thinner than the center. Repeat for remaining dough. If you don't have a helper on hand to fold the potstickers, keep wrappers under cover (plastic wrap or barely damp paper towel) to prevent drying out. Fill and fold potstickers according to the instructions and photos above in the post. Place folded potstickers on a floured piece of parchment or tin foil-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking.

 

 

COOK THE POTSTICKERS
Have 1/4 cup water and a tight-fitting lid for your pan at the ready, by your stove. Heat a large, nonstick frying or saute pan over medium heat. When hot, swirl in a little cooking oil, just enough to swirl around. Carefully lay potstickers into the pan, they can touch a little, but do not overcrowd. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then peek under one or two potstickers to see if the bottoms have lightly browned. Adjust your heat if needed.

When lightly browned, it's time for the steaming. In one hand, have the lid ready. In the other, carefully pour in 1/4 cup of water into the pan. It will splatter, so please be careful. Immediately cover pan with the lid to trap the steam. Let cook for 2 minutes, then open the lid. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, until all of the water has evaporated. Take a peek under the potsticker. You can add a little more cooking oil if it has trouble browning (but only after all the water has evaporated, otherwise it will splatter.) Shake the pan to loosen the potstickers, swirl in the oil and tilt pan to distribute the oil. When bottoms are nicely browned, plate and serve with dipping sauces.

 

Global Recipe: Ingrid's Picadillo

Ingrid’s Picadillo

This is the Cuban version of the South American dish.

 

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 pound ground beef or combination of beef chorizo, and pork

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine or dry sherry

  • 10 cherry tomatoes, chopped or 1 (8-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

  • 1/3 cup tomato paste

  • 1/3 cup chopped pimento stuffed Spanish olives with 1 tablespoon brine from jar

  • 1/3 cup raisins

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and bay leaves and saute until onion is soft, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.

Add ground beef to skillet and cook until browned. Once the meat is browned, carefully away from the flame, tilt pan and remove excess fat with a large spoon.

Add the white wine and stir for another minute. Then add the chopped cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, pimento stuffed Spanish olives, raisins, dried oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper. Simmer over low heat for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve warm:
As a filling for empanadas or tacos
Over white rice with fried plantains or black beans
With a side salad and black beans
To make Picadillo soupier for serving over rice, add additional wine, chicken or beef stock.

Recipe originally found here.  

 

Global Recipe: Elise's Swedish Meatballs

Elise’s Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs are a traditional delicacy from Sweden especially popular around Christmas Time. They can be served on their own with a side of jelly as an appetizer, or with the cream sauce and noodles as a meal.

 

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes     Cook Time: 1 hour    Servings: 8-10 (40-50 meatballs)

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled, grated (use the large holes of a box cheese grater)

  • 2/3 cup milk

  • 4-5 slices of bread, crusts removed, bread cut into pieces

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp butter

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 quart beef stock

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream

  • Salt

  • 2 to 4 Tbsp of Lingonberry, red currant, raspberry or cranberry jelly, less or more to taste (optional)

Egg Noodles (Optional)

 

Directions:

Mince onion and saute with butter for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Set aside to cool.

Tear bread into small pieces and soak in a large bowl with the milk. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes for the bread to absorb all of the milk. Once the bread has soaked up the milk put the bread in a food processor and pulse until it has been completely broken up (or shred by hand). Return the pulverized milk soaked bread to the bowl.

Combine bread, onions, eggs, meat, spices: Stir the cooled onions into the milk bread mixture. Add the eggs, ground pork and beef, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom. Use your (clean) hands to mix everything together until well combined.

Form meatballs: roll meatballs about an inch-thick and place them on a plate or sheet pan.

Brown meatballs on all sides: Heat 6 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. When the butter is melted and foamy, start adding some meatballs to the pan. Working in batches as to not crowd the pan, slowly brown the meatballs on all sides. Handle the meatballs gently so they do not break apart as you turn them.

 

Once the meatballs have browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and set aside. You do not need to cook the meatballs all the way through at this point, you only need to brown them. You'll finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce later.

Add 6 Tbsp of butter to the pan.  Add flour to butter in pan to make roux: To make the sauce, first make the roux. Heat the butter in the pan on medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour. Stir until smooth. Continue to stir, allowing the flour mixture to cook, several minutes, until the roux is the color of coffee-with-cream.  When the roux has cooked to a lovely shade of light brown, slowly add the stock to the roux, stirring as you add the stock. Stir slowly over heat until the sauce becomes silky smooth. (may take a few minutes)

 

Add meatballs to sauce: Return the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and lower the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. You may need to work in batches.

When the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to a serving dish to serve. Add sour cream to the roux. Either stir the jelly into the sauce or serve it on the side.

Best served over egg noodles.

 

 

 

 

Recipe originally found here.  

 

Global Recipe: Johnny's Gallo Pinto

Johnny’s Gallo Pinto

Traditional Costa Rican Beans and Rice

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 1 tablespoon  salsa, lizano

  • 1 1⁄2cups  black beans, cooked (can substitute canned)

  • 2 1⁄2cups  rice, cooked

  • 2 tablespoons  bell peppers, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons  onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon coriander, chopped (Cilantro)

Directions:

  1. Saute onion and bell pepper for about 2 minutes.

  2. Add the black beans and salsa and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

  3. Then, add the cooked rice and mix in the coriander.

  4. Cooked bacon, pork, chicken or sausage can be added. For breakfast, scrambled eggs can be added.

 

 

Recipe originally found here.

 

Global Recipe: Amanda's Grandma's Krumkake

Amanda’s Grandma’s Krumkake

 

 

Krumkake is a Norwegian waffle cookie that is a traditional dessert.  They can be filled with lots of different things, but the below recipe has them filled with whip cream and cloudberry. Feel free to give it your own unique spin!

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 C Sugar

1/2 C Butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, beat until fluffy

1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream

2 C Flour

1/2 teaspoon of either nutmeg or cardamon, ground

 

Directions

Heat krumkake iron on stove over medium heat. You can also use an electric krumkake or pizzelle iron.

 

Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl. In separate bowl beat eggs till fluffy. Then add to sugar and butter mix with spoon. Pour in the cream, flour, vanilla, and nutmeg/cardamom; mix well.

 

Place a teaspoon of the batter on the preheated iron, and press together. Cook until browned, about 30 seconds per side, depending on the heat. Remove from the iron and quickly roll up around a stick or around a cone before they harden.

 

You can fill them with whatever you like but I like whipped cream and cloudberries. Here’s that recipe:

 

 

2 C whipped heavy cream (whip until it forms peaks)
2 Tablespoons cloudberries (you can also use fresh raspberries or raspberry jam)

 

Whip the heavy cream until it forms peaks and then fold in your cloudberries. Once mixed simply pipe using a pastry bag the mixture into each cooled Krumkake.

 

Global Recipe: Mummy Boome's Traditional Shepherds Pie

Mummy Boome’s Traditional Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie is a traditional English dish.  The ground beef and cheesy mashed potatoes makes for a perfect comfort food combination that is sure to please your family.

Ingredients:

1T. butter

1T. olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

salt and pepper to taste

1 T. tomato paste

2lbs lean ground beef or lamb.

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

½ c. beef stock

1.5 c. garden peas (can be canned or frozen)

 

 

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:

4lbs Yukon gold potatoes

4 T. butter

¼ c. heavy cream

1 C. grated white cheddar cheese

salt and pepper.

 

Directions:

Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.

Add butter and oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic until tender for about 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables have softened and start to brown a little add the tomato paste and mix evenly. Add the ground beef and cook until beef is no longer pink about 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook and simmer for another 10 minutes. Mix in peas. Transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and spread evenly. Place potato on top of ground beef mixture and spread out evenly, once the top surface has been covered, rake through with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook until browned about 20 minutes. Spoon out the shepherd's pie and serve.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:

Fill a large saucepan with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Add potatoes to the water and bring to a boil. Let potatoes cook until soft about 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are at a desired density, drain the potatoes and place them back into the saucepan for mashing. Add butter and cream and begin to mash potatoes into a semi smooth consistency. Once at desired texture add cheese and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Originally found here.

 

Global Recipe: Mama's Arroz Con Pollo

Mama’s Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con pollo is a Latin American and Spanish delicacy. Variations exist for different nations, but this is a basic recipe that can be adapted for your taste preferences.  For example you can substitute chipotle chili powder, red chili powder or smoked paprika for the paprika called for. You can also add saffron, minced bell peppers or peas for nice variations to this classic dish.

 

 

Ingredients:

Chicken

3 T Olive Oil

1 broiler-fryer chicken, about 2.5-3lbs of chicken cut into serving pieces rinsed and patted dry.

½ c. of flour for dredging.

Salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Paprika

Rice

2T olive oil.

1 yellow onion, diced.

1 clove of garlic, minced.

2 C. medium or long grain white rice.*

3 C. chicken stock

1 heaping T. tomato paste or 1 c. of fresh diced tomatos.

Pinch of oregano

1t. salt

 

*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.

 

Instructions:

Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet (a skillet that has a cover) on medium high heat.

Put the flour in a wide bowl, mix in a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge the chicken pieces lightly in the flour mixture and put in the pan to brown. (You can skip the flour dredging part if you want. It just makes a nicer coating for the chicken.)

Cook a few minutes on each side, just enough so that the chicken has browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and set aside.

Add the rice to the pan to brown. Add a little more olive oil if necessary. Stir first to coat the rice with the olive oil in the pan. Then don't stir too much or you will prevent it from browning. Let the rice brown and then stir a little to let more of it brown. Then add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion, garlic and rice mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes.

Place the chicken pieces, skin-side up, on top of the rice.

In a separate bowl, mix together the stock, tomato, salt, and oregano. Pour the stock mixture over the rice and chicken. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Let cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package, until the rice and chicken are done. Fluff the rice with a fork. If you want you can sprinkle with some peas. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

 

Recipe originally posted here.

 

Global Recipe: Jan's Fried Bread

Jan’s Fried Bread with Minced Pork Spread

This traditional Thai appetizer tends to be popular with children.

 

 

Serves 4-5 and takes 30 minutes to prepare

Ingredients for the Fried Bread:

5 slices of bread.

2T of minced cilantro, garlic and a dash of black pepper.

1 T. soy sauce

½ lb ground pork (can substitute ground chicken)

2 T. of cornstarch

1 Egg

Cilantro leaves for garnish.

Vegetable or canola oil for frying.

 

Ingredients for the sauce:

5T sugar

5T white vinegar

½ t. salt

2T diced cucumber

2T diced red onion

1T diced red bell pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Cut the bread slices into fourths. Place the bread on a tray and toast in the over for 10 minutes at 300F.

  2. Make the Sauce. Combine the sugar, salt and vinegar in a small sauce pan and place on medium heat. Cook until the sauce thickens and the vinegar smell is gone.  Pour the sauce into a bowl and let it cool. Add the diced vegetables, stir together and set to the side.

  3. Mix the ground pork/chicken with the minced cilantro, garlic and pepper.  Add the corn starch, soy sauce and egg.  Mix well with a spatula or your hands.  Place the meat mixture on the toasted bread and garnish with cilantro.

  4. Place oil in the fying pan on medium to low heat.  Place the meat/bread pieces in the oil with the meat side down in the pan.  Cook the meat until Golden Brown. Flip the bread and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes once the meat is cooked. Be careful not to burn the bread.  Once cooked place on a plate that has a paper towel to absorb extra oil.  Done. It is ready to be served with the sauce. Enjoy!

Global Recipe: Johan's Bobotie

Johan’s Bobotie

Bobotie is from South African favorite and is a favorite. This flavorful minced meat is wonderful over rice.

 

 

Ingredients:

2 onions sliced

2 cloves of minced garlic

cooking oil of choice.

1 slice of thick bread with the crust removed.

1.5 c. milk

5 t. curry powder

2 t. salt

5t. chutney

2.5 t. apricot jam.

2.5 t. Worcestershire sauce

2 t. turmeric

5 t. brown vinegar

2.2 lbs ground beef or minced lamb

½ c. sultanas (golden raisins)

3 eggs

 

Directions

Soak the bread in 1.5 cups of milk and set aside.  In a large pan saute onions and minced garlic in oil.  When the onions are translucent add the curry powder, salt, chutney, apricot jam, Worcestershire sauce, turmeric and vinegar. Mix well.  Add the ground beef or minced lamb and stir well.  While the meat is browning, remove the bread from the milk mixture (keep the milk) and add the soaked bread and the sultanas to the meat mixture.  Continue browning the meat until cooked through.  Once cooked remove from heat and add 1 egg to the meat mixture. Stir thoroughly. Put the meat in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Smooth the top. Beat 2 eggs with the milk that was previously set aside.  Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric, stir and pour mixture on top of the meat.  Cook in the oven at 350 for approximately 1 hour.

Serve with rice.  

 

Global Recipe: Auntie Mel's Chicken Curry

Auntie Mel’s Chicken Curry

 

 

Chicken curry is an Indian delicacy. It surprised me that this recipe has ketchup in it because it is my favorite curry. I had eaten it many times before I finally asked for the recipe.  It is truly a wonderful curry.

 

Ingredients:

 

1kg or 2.2lbs of chicken

2 large onions

3T your choice of oil

2 inch piece of fresh ginger (from the produce section)

2 t. Kashmiri chili powder (from an Indian grocery store or can be ordered on amazon.)

1 t. vinegar

1 large tomato diced

dash of salt

diced potato’s (optional*)

ketchup

dried cilantro (coriander)

 

Directions:

 

Slice chicken in small cubes and lay to the side.  Place 2 large onions sliced and browned in 3Tablespoons of oil. Cut the Two-inch piece of fresh ginger (slice off the hard exterior –with a pairing knife or vegetable peeler and then finely dice) add ginger to onions while they sauté. Add 2t. of the Kashmiri chili powder to the onions and ginger. Stir well and then add the cut chicken pieces to the pan along with 1 t. of vinegar (I like rice vinegar).  Stir well and then add the diced tomato and a dash of salt.  Add the diced potato (if using) and let all of it cook.  When the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are soft add ketchup (about ¼ cup) and stir.  Add coriander leaves.  Feel free to add water if you want a more liquid curry.

 

Eat with naan (Indian bread you can find at most grocery stores or Costco) or over steamed rice.

 

*A tip, when you add tomatoes, it takes potatoes longer to cook.  

 

Global Recipe: Pam's Hummus

Pam’s Hummus

 

 

Hummus is a popular dish across the Middle East and parts of North Africa.  The name comes from the Arabic word meaning “chickpea.”

 

 

Ingredients:

 

1 16oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 c. tahini (sesame paste –available on the health food aisle of most grocery stores.)

the juice from 2.5 lemons

2 Tablespoons of water.

 

 

 

Directions:

 

Drain chickpeas. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.  Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.  Place in a serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus. Add a small amount (1-2 Tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).

Serve immediately with warm toasted pita bread, crudité veggies or pita chips. Can also be covered and refrigerated.

 

Hunger Profile: Europe

Hunger in Europe

At the time of this writing, Europe is home to 50 sovereign states and has 4 dependencies. The people of Europe speak over 225 different languages with the most popular being English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Its richest nation is Monaco (average income of $172,676) and its poorest is Moldova (average income $1,631). Globally, Europe is home to the world largest number of immigrants with almost 85% of its population growth coming from people moving from other nations into Europe.

 

 

Hunger in Europe tends to be similar to the U.S. Costs of living (rent, transportation, clothing, food) is going up, but salaries aren’t being adjusted to accommodate.  (Britain had a 20% cost of living increase, but only a 7% increase to hourly earnings.) This leads to widespread food insecurity and malnutrition because people can’t afford good food. Spain has a huge unemployment rate and recently raised taxes on food, leaving people without access to food. It is estimated that 22% of Spain’s population lives in poverty and approximately 600,000 are unemployed. In Eastern Europe (Soviet Nations) it is estimated that 51 million children are living in poverty without access to good food.

 

The problems facing Europe’s hungry include: A lack of basic necessitates, isolation, the Government systems are so complicated that people don’t know where to go to get resources, they don’t have enough jobs and many jobs don’t pay enough for people to live on. Many worry for their children.

 

How to Pray for Europe?

  Ask God to move in Europe. Ask Him to provide resources for the Churches there to help the hungry, the poor and the immigrants in Europe.  

 

Hunger Profile: South America

Hunger in South America

 

 

South America is the 5th largest continent with only 12 countries.  Brazil is the largest South American nation and it is home to nearly half of the entire South American population. South America is home to both the Amazon river (and the tribes of remote peoples that live along its banks) and the Andes mountains. Originally inhabited by tribal Indians South America was colonized by Spain and Portugal leading to Spanish and Portuguese being the main languages spoken now. It has a rich heritage of music, culture and closely connected families.  

 

There are approximately 62 million hungry people in South America.  It is estimated that up to 70% of the population is food insecure- they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Some of the reasons food insecurity is so big in South America is due to droughts which lead to famine. There is also a big difference between how much money the poor and the rich make, there are many people who make less than $150 a month and that is not much to live on.

 

How to pray?

 Ask the Lord to bless the Nations of South America.  Ask Him to continue to develop resources and provide food for the people there.  

 

Hunger Profile: The US

Hunger in the US

 

 

 

Hunger in the US affects millions of people, but hunger in the US looks very different than Africa or Asia.  Most people in the US won’t die from starvation or malnutrition, but almost 15% of the US population is “food insecure” meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Living in the US is expensive and many families struggle to afford a home, car, clothes and food.  Our Government helps provide food for people using programs like the Free and Reduced Lunches Program, making sure kids at school have food to eat.  There are still lots of  needs. Food pantries and food assistance programs are trying to help meet these needs.

 

It is estimated right now that around 16 million children in the US live in food insecure households.  Another group that is greatly affected by food insecurity is the elderly, right now there are about 2 million food insecure elderly.

 

Using the US standards for the minimum amount of money needed to live, they estimate that a person needs at least $36.50 a week for food, for 1 weeks worth of meals (21) that averages out to less than $1.75 a meal.  (Here is an interesting video that shows kids taking the challenge to shop for a week's worth of groceries and only spend $36.50)

 

This month, take some time to observe opportunities around you to help combat food insecurity. Could you take a meal to an elderly couple? Is there a food drive you could help with?  Could your family go serve at a food pantry or soup kitchen?  SOS Local has lots of opportunities for you and your family to get involved in helping hungry people right around us. Find a creative way to do something together to help your community.

 

How to pray?

 Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see the hungry around you and to provide you with opportunities to meet people’s need for food.  Then be prepared to act on the opportunities as He presents them!

 

Hunger Profile: Asia

Hunger in Asia

 

 

Asia is the largest continent with the biggest population. It takes up roughly 30% of the Earth’s land mass and is home to over 4.4 billion people. Two of its nations: India and China alternate being the largest economies in the world. It has huge desserts, the world’s tallest mountains and some of the prettiest sights in the world. Most of Asia also has what’s known as “monsoon season” which are seasonal rains. Here in the States we get rain all through the year. We have to check the weather to know if it's going to rain or not. In many parts of South Asia people only get rain 3-4 months out of the year, but they get so much rain that there is lots of flooding and it rains for days on end.  Outside of monsoon season it is very rare for these nations to get even a day of rain throughout the rest of the year.

 

According to the UN, Asia is home to more than 60% of the world’s hungry.  Everyday 525.6 million people in Asia go hungry. In fact, 3 Asian nations –India, Bangladesh & East Timor are home to 40% of underweight children under the age of 5.  In India alone there are 57 million hungry children.  

 

Hunger in Asia looks different than hunger in Africa. In Africa full scale starvation is the common story. In Asia malnutrition (they have enough calories but not enough nutrients) kills millions every year.  Malnourishment leaves people susceptible to common illnesses it also causes people to not grow properly or be able to learn.  

 

Hunger in Asia is a complex problem. When monsoon doesn’t provide enough rain it leads to famine and crops that don’t provide enough food.  Additionally, with the huge advances to technology and farming, many of the indigenous farmers don’t have modern techniques like drip irrigation and pesticides to protect their produce.  Refrigeration and canning aren’t as widespread,  leading to food being difficult to transport and sell. With such huge populations, access to good jobs and education is in high demand and the poor are the ones who miss out.  

 

Parents: One trend that we see a lot in our efforts to help at-risk kids in Asia is that if you can give them food and water than they are a lot safer.  Traffickers prey on them because they don’t have the basic necessities of food and water they are put at great risk of being enslaved. We have seen first hand that an active and effective feeding program equals fewer girls trafficked.

 

How to Pray?

 Ask God to provide food for hungry children.  Ask God to give Churches across Asia a heart to feed the kids in their community and a unique strategy for how to provide for so many hungry children.  

_______________________

Hunger Profile: Africa

Hunger in Africa

 

 

Africa is the world’s second largest continent. It has 54 countries and 2 nations that want to be, but they are countries in dispute. Most of the nations of Africa are now republics, ruled by presidents, but there have been many wars fought in and about Africa.  Other nations have tried to own parts of Africa (there used to be British, French and Spanish Colonies in Africa.) and widespread war between African nations has lead to famines and unstable economies.

 

 

When we talk about “hunger” there are 3 ways we can talk about it:

 

  1. Malnutrition: When a person doesn’t get the nutrients needed to grow and thrive. This can be not enough food, but most of the time it's because of empty calories, meaning there are calories, but no nutrition.  Think about if all you could eat was potato chips.  They have plenty of calories, but it doesn’t have protein, vitamins or minerals. Your body can’t survive on just potato chips very long because you need nutrition.

  2. Famine: This is widespread food scarcity. Meaning there isn’t enough food someplace to feed people. What if you had 10 friends and everyone was hungry, but only 6 sandwiches.  There’s not enough food for everyone to get full.

  3. Starvation: This happens when you don’t have enough food for a long time.  You will loose more and more weight until finally your body can’t keep going.

 

Africa has all 3 types of hunger currently.

 

If you look at the world’s top 10 hungriest countries, 6 out of 10 countries are in Africa.  They are: Central African Republic, Chad, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Niger.  In Africa there are 214 million hungry people, this is a lot of people, but believe it or not this is not the continent with the highest hunger rates.  If you look at Africa as a whole, it has the highest percentage of its population that is hungry (this means that most people in Africa need food) but it is not the largest numbers of hungry people, that title belongs to Asia with 525.6 million hungry people.   

 

In early 2017 the UN made the official announcement that South Sudan was in a famine and right now millions don’t have access to enough food, 100,000 people are starving and people are beginning to die of starvation. The UN also identified that Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria are on the brink of a famine.  All of this is caused by widespread war and rising food costs.

 

 

How to pray?

 

 Ask God to provide food for hungry kids. Also ask Him to provide rain so that people can grow food.  Pray for peace so that communities can be established without the fear of war. Pray for the people of Sudan, ask God to use people who will be caring and compassionate to bring food. Pray for Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria that they would see changes in their countries to keep the famine from happening.  These countries need big solutions, but we serve a big God who provides food for so many people and who stops famines.  

 

Talking Points: Social Oppression

Social Oppression

 

What is it?

Social Oppression is unfairly treating a person or group of people who are different from other people or groups of people.  A few examples of social oppression include racism (treating people differently based on their ethnicity), sexism (treating people differently based on their gender), religious persecution (treating people differently because of their religion.)  Another form of social oppression is the concept of a “caste system.”  In the US you may hear terms like working class, lower class, middle class, upper class, blue collar.  All of these terms try to categorize people based on how much money they have.  

In India they have something called the caste system. Their whole society is based on whatever “caste” someone is born into. The caste tells people what profession they will be, their standard of living, what gods they will worship and what foods they can eat.  You can’t change castes, you die in whatever caste you are born into. For those born to a good caste this means a good life. For those born in a low caste this means that life will be hard.  

 

What does that mean?

When social oppression is happening, most of the time the people in the community don’t see it. It takes a big event or someone outside the community stepping in to say that something is not right. One of the things we see are groups of people being denied access to food or water because there is a shortage, and their lives are deemed less worthy.  This is the core of social oppression, it is deeming a group less worthy than yourself. When people aren’t given food, water, education because of what family they are born into or what religion they are it is a very heartbreaking thing.  Giving communities food and water, free for all people, is a powerful tool to break down systems of oppression.  We’ve drilled wells and fed in many communities where the simple gift of food and water can break down huge walls of social oppression and can transform communities.  

 

What does the Bible say about it?

The Bible encourages us to speak up for the downtrodden, the oppressed and those who can’t speak up for themselves (Prov 31:8)  

 

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9

“The Lord will rescue the poor when they cry to Him; He will help the oppressed who have no one to defend them.” Psalm 72:12

“The Lord gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoner.” Psalm 146:7

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphans. Fight for the rights of the widows.”  Isaiah 1:17

 

How to pray?

 Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see the those around you who are treated unfairly and ask the Lord what you can do about it.  

Talk about what you see and share ideas on how to stop the oppression. This might mean inviting the lonely kid to have lunch at the table with you or offering to walk with the kid that always gets picked on.  These are really small forms of oppression, but something powerful happens when we choose to see and love those around us, just like Jesus did.
 

 

Talking Points: War

War

 

 

What Is it?

 

 Ok, we all know what war is.  It’s a battle with nerf guns, its army men, it’s a game on the iphone, but it's also something that is very real.  War happens when groups of people don’t agree and can’t get along.  Some wars happen over land, some happen over religion, some happen over not having enough food/water/land for people. War also happens because there are bad people that want to be in control of places.  

 

What does that mean?

 

World War II is probably the war that we are all the most familiar with.  It is considered the bloodiest war in history with somewhere between 60-85 million deaths. World War II was Hitler’s attempt to fill his nation with people that looked like him, and to get rid of the Jews.  

 

Today, wars are being fought but they look a bit different.  Cyber attacks, threats, terrorism, testing missiles, these are all forms of war that we hear more about today.  Wars make people food insecure (not have enough food) because depriving people of food can be used as a weapon.  Armies can cut off food routes and stop shipments of food.  Different AID organizations will try and bring food into war torn areas as a way of helping people who are in dangerous areas.

 

 

In many of the communities where we work we hear of feuds (small battles) that happen between groups of people because there isn’t enough food or water for everyone in that community.  Through giving the gift of food and water we are able to be peacemakers.  Over and over we hear how fighting stops and good things happen for that community when there is enough food and water for people to live.

 

 

What does the Bible say about it?

 

When it comes to war, there is a difference between nations and individuals.  As Nations, sometimes there are reasons why we must go to war, but as individuals, our actions should pursue peace.  The Bible has a lot of great stories around war and warriors. One of my favorites is found in 1 Samuel where we are introduced to David and we get to read about the battle between David and Goliath.  David bravely went to war to defend God’s people and God used Him to lead the entire nation of Israel.

 

When we read the New Testament, the Bible spends a lot of time encouraging us as people who follow Jesus, to love and serve people and to pursue peace.  The Bible also reminds us that there is a spiritual battle going on and that we are to fight battles we face through prayer.

 

 

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against the evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

 

 

 

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

 

 

 

 

How to Pray?

 

 

 Pray and ask the Lord to show you how to be a peacemaker.  Pray for the men and women who protect our country and fight wars for our nation. Thank God for the brave men and women who fight to protect us. Ask God to give them wisdom and to protect them.

 

Talking Points: Not Having Parents

Not having parents

What is it?  

As kids, this is a hard thing to talk about, because it's scary.  Our parents take care of us and are so special to us. Sometimes we have to talk about hard things though because they happen around us and it's important for us to understand so that if we have a classmate or friend that goes through something hard, we can pray for them and be their friend.  So I want us to talk about something a little bit uncomfortable and that’s when kids don’t have parents.  There are two groups that fall under this category.

  1. Orphans are kids whose parents died and they are left by themselves.  When this happens sometimes they are raised by their grandparents, aunts, uncles or sometimes they are given a home with other kids who don’t have parents.  Sometimes these kids grow up in those homes and sometimes moms and dads will ask them to join their families and adopt them.

  2. Kids whose parents can’t take care of them for a little while.  This is a hard concept, but sometimes things happen that make it unsafe for a child to live with their parents and a child needs a place to stay until their home can be safe again. Whenever something like this happens we have people called foster families who are safe families that take care of the kids until the parents can.

 

 

What does that mean?

 

Today there are 140,000,000 orphans worldwide (UNICEF). In the US on any given day there are about 428,000 children staying with foster parents.  In 2015, over 670,000 kids spent time with a foster family.  This means that at some point you will probably know someone who is in foster care or adopted.  

 

What does the Bible say about it?

 

 

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows, this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Psalms 68:5

 

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17

“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 22:16

 

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God is this, caring for orphans and widows in their distress.”  James 1:27

 

The Bible talks about orphans quite a bit and God makes it very clear that He values orphans and He takes care of them.  It is important to God that children are loved and cared for.  

How to pray?

Pray for kids who aren’t with their parents today. Ask God to take care of them.

 

While we are talking about kids without families, there are also a lot of adults who don’t have family. Either their family is far away or they grew up without one.  Pray together as a family and see if there is someone you could invite over to your house to eat a meal and be family to.  There is something powerful that happens when we open up our families to be family to others.  

 

Talking Points: Dirty Water

Dirty Water

What is it?  

Contaminated water is the fancy way of saying “dirty water” This water doesn’t just have dirt in it though, it has all kinds of really super tiny bugs and worms (parasites) that can make people sick. It also has a lot of “ground contaminates” in it, things like dog pee, cow poop, trash.  This happens to water when people aren’t getting their water from deep in the ground. You and I turn on the faucet to get water, but the water that we get comes from deep in the ground and then the water company filters it (cleans it) and puts it in pipes to go to our homes.  In the developing world a lot of people don’t have enough water especially clean water.  This goes back to what we talked about when we mentioned that when a country is still building they don’t have as many roads, schools, pipes, electricity, for all their people.  One day it will be fixed, but today there are a lot of people in the world who don’t have clean water.  Their water comes from holes they dig in their yard, or they get water from ponds, but it isn’t clean or safe to drink.

 

 

What does that mean?

 

1,200,000,000 (1.2 Billion) people in the world don’t have clean water. (Parents: Every day 24,000 children under the age of 5 die from preventable waterborne illnesses.)  That’s a big number.  The solution is simple really, people need clean water.  It is not hard to give people clean water, but it does take knowing about it and choosing to help.  Just like you and your family are helping give children food, there are other families working to give children water.  It only costs $7 to give a person clean water for 30 years.  

 

What does the Bible say about it?

 

The Bible talks about water a lot.  Did you know that there’s a story in the Bible where a woman was going to a well to get water for her family and she saw a stranger in need of water?  He was at a well with all of his camels who were very thirsty.  She saw he was thirsty and that his camels were thirsty and even though it was going to be hard work, she offered to give him water and to give his camels water.  By the end of the story the man is so thankful that he asks her to come and marry his boss.  She ends up playing a big role in the Bible (as the daughter-in-law of Abraham, the wife of Isaac and the Mom of Jacob) and it all started because she saw someone thirsty and she worked hard to give them water. To read more of this story go to Genesis 24.

 

Giving people water is a simple way to show them God’s love. Next time you go to the park on a hot day take a couple of bottles of water with you and offer them to a stranger who looks hot and thirsty. See how their face lights up by the gift of cool water.  Water is a great gift to share! Now imagine those who don’t have clean water –even at their home. Imagine their delight when water is given to their communities!

 

 

How to pray?

 

Pray for kids who are walking a long way today to get water. Ask God to keep them safe while they walk so far, and ask God to give them clean water where they live so they don’t have to go so far to get dirty water.