In every part of the world you’ll find incredible ONE members doing amazing things to make poverty history. I’d like to introduce you to one such person whose work spans the globe and impacts thousands on a daily basis. David Meyer, CEO of faith-based relief and development organization Hand of Hope, is on a mission to help those in need through a variety of programs designed to alleviate human suffering.
Through Hand of Hope’s food programs, more than 71,000 children around the world receive meals everyday at more than 590 sites in over 30 countries. “Time and again I am impacted not only by the great needs of people worldwide but also by the amazing opportunity God has given us to do something about it,” David said.
Recently I had the chance to ask him a few questions about his role with Hand of Hope.
Joe Mason: You’ve helped in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease through your work with food programs, water and disaster relief, medical missions and more. What motivates you to act on behalf of the poor and suffering?
David Meyer: Primarily being a Christian would be that the Bible mandates us to do so. It is full of decrees to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the orphan.
Why is it important to “spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry” and be involved in relief and development efforts outside of the US?
I believe very strongly in the adage, “To whom much is given, much is required.” And there are no other people that have been as blessed as we are.
With such a large role at Hand of Hope, it’s clear that faith is important to you, and that you practice what you preach. Why is it important for people of faith to be advocates for the world’s poorest people? How can we “speak out for those who cannot speak” (Proverbs 31:8)?
There are many ways we can speak for those without a voice:
1. Simply telling their story helps to bring awareness.
2. Visiting nations where extreme poverty exists will change a person forever.
3. Helping to support organizations that care for the poor.
One important component in the fight against extreme poverty is agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. In your experiences overseas, do you see the need for more of this work?
This is a huge need. Ultimately, if all we do is feed people without teaching them how to be self-sustaining, we will never break the patterns of poverty.
You often use the saying “Together We Are Better!” How can we all work together to end extreme poverty? Why must we work together in this fight?
Any one person or organization that thinks they have all the answers is mistaken. We are all put on earth with certain skill sets, spheres of influence and financial ability. Because of this, we can all do so much more together than we can ever do on our own. One big thing is to be willing to share the credit. So many organizations won’t work with others because of petty differences. I always say, “Why can’t we champion the 95 percent we all agree on instead of criticizing the 5 percent we don’t”?
Why have you chosen to get involved with ONE?
Organizations that give their lives to help the poor have my support and respect. People are hurting badly, and ONE is doing something tangible to help.
Who is one person you’d like to meet but haven’t?
Anyone passionate about making a difference. A few people I have admired from afar are Billy Graham, Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis.
I’d like to send out a big thank you to David Meyer for sharing his heart with us. ONE is excited to have his support in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.