BRADENTON, FL – Hope Seeds is a Christian outreach with a long-term perspective. Hope Seeds was established in 1999 as a ministry of the Hope Church in Bradenton, Florida. With the slogan of “Plant a Seed! Feed a Soul!” Hope Seeds works to share the Gospel and to contribute to the reduction of world hunger by distributing seed packets to help poor communities to grow gardens to sustain themselves on a regular basis.
The appeals from both Christian and secular NGOs most often lead by sharing a sense of urgency. This has been especially evident during the Covid crisis. Regardless, the norm is to solicit support for rushing nutritious food to families and communities suffering from either temporary or long-term food scarcity.
Hope Seeds is one of only a few faith-based organizations dedicated to providing long-term solutions to hunger by supplying “quality garden seed and agricultural education through Christian missionaries and organizations.”
Over the past two decades, Hope Seeds has provided over 10 million seed packets through more than 400 Christian missionaries serving in more than 60 countries.
The ministry’s strategy is to leverage its extensive experience in the vegetable seed industry to empower, educate, and encourage. Along with empowering people suffering from food scarcity by providing high-quality seeds, Hope Seeds packages “educational materials about gardening, nutrition, and seed saving” with each shipment. The material helps missionaries and recipients to understand best practices for bountiful and sustainable harvests.
A Message of Hope Gospel tract is included with all seed packets, planting the seed of the Word of God and its message of the sure and certain hope available only through Jesus Christ.
Each package contains 10 varieties of seeds “best suited for the climate, growing conditions, and culture of the people . . . served by the ministry requesting our help.”
The original pattern of giving seeds was established by the Lord at Creation. Look closely at Genesis 1:29.
“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’”
Just as He promised, the Lord has provided us with an abundance of food-yield seed. Even as the world population grows, there is enough food to feed the entire planet. As we have iterated numerous times in Missions Box, food-scarcity is not due to a lack of food but to a lack of food in certain areas where the people have limited or no access to nutritious food.
“For every person who plants a seed and begins a garden, a world of potential grows the way God designed it.”
When people are enabled to successfully grow their own gardens, they will not have to depend on others to provide a daily meal. That nurtures self-reliance and independence. Once a community’s needs for nutritious meals are being met, ministries focused on meeting immediate food scarcity can move on to serve people who need food right now.
Any legitimate approach to reducing food scarcity must understand both the short and long-term needs. As the long-term needs are addressed by groups like Hope Seeds, the need for a continual supply of foodstuffs might no longer be necessary.
Is it possible that short-term food solutions could be necessary only in cases of war, famine, and disaster? Time will tell. In the meantime, let us be thankful and prayerful for those who are dedicated to putting their hands – and others’ hands – to the plow.