Fifteen years ago I was on a mission trip to Guatemala where I met a missionary who took me down to a small plot of land where he had planted Moringa trees. The leaves of the Moringa tree, he explained, were a wonderful source of vitamins. This missionary ran an orphanage and proper nutrition health concerns were really on his radar as he and his wife cared for forty young children. The Moringa tree was introduced to him by an organization (ECHO) which was based in my home state…Florida.
ECHO stands for “Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization” and its base of operation is located in Ft Meyers. ECHO is an information hub for development practitioners around the world. They gather solutions from around the world that are solving hunger problems and then disseminate that information to their active and expansive network. These solutions promote sustainable farming techniques, nutritional plants, and appropriate technologies which are time tested and proven to be successful over and over again.
ECHO’s purpose is to help those who are teaching farmers around the world know how to be more effective in producing enough to meet the needs of their families and their communities. They in turn teach others and the ECHO effect continues! That is where my missionary friend fit in – he was equipped by ECHO’s network and resources. He found out that this Moringa tree would grow well in his area and then ECHO sent him the seeds so that he could begin his crop. Now, thanks to ECHO, all those children in that Guatemalan orphanage are experiencing better nutrition through those same Moringa leaves each and every year.
This month, on March 10-14, I will lead a mission work team to ECHO’s global demonstration farm in Ft Meyers to help their staff with their important work. This, I believe, will be Good Shepherd’s ninth trip to ECHO! I am so proud of the volunteers from Good Shepherd that have stepped forward each year. Our participants this coming year are: Sharon Buford, Mike and Melanie Carnes, Nancy Chaloult, Shirley Conklin, Hayden Worth, Kyle Worth and myself. Please pray for us all as we lend a hand to the wonderful, globally significant work of ECHO.