Over 3 Billion people worldwide live on less than $2.50 per day with almost a billion and a half living on less than half of that. $1.25 per day – can you imagine? We often talk about living paycheck to paycheck – how do we grapple with living spoonful to spoonful?
The numbers are so staggering that it is easy to ignore. How do you even comprehend a billion?
We have been challenged by the exact same thing. There is an apathy that comes with numbers. We can understand the need but where do we start? If these numbers are so readily available, why is nothing being done? The wealthy countries of the world sends tens of billions of dollars every year – what happens to all of that? In 2020 alone, our nation sent nearly 40 billion dollars for economic assistance to other countries, yet still the problem of poverty exists.
The mission statement of Two Pennies Ministry is “To honor God-given dignity in individuals by helping them discover and fulfill God’s purpose and potential for their lives.”
What does that mean?
We believe that God has created each person with a specific purpose. This means that EVERYONE matters. We bring glory to God when we care for each other – as Christ did. We are now his hands and his feet. But with nearly eight billion people on the planet, where do we start?
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – I John 3:16-18
Instead of trying to tackle the global problem, we’ve decided to see what we can do in one corner of the globe. Instead of keeping the problem at arm’s length and just sending aid, we’ve gone and developed relationships. It is through these relationships that Two Pennies Ministry is gaining a foothold. This has become personal to us and we’ve been able to connect schools, churches and communities in making a difference in the lives of people that have names, faces, and homes. Through our relationships we built a medical center (pictured right) and later added on a maternity ward. We built a computer lab and library for school children who had never read a storybook. In 2016 we built an orphanage which provides for 15 children without stable homes. Each child has a sponsor here in the United States who communicates with them and supports their schooling.
One of the principle struggles for people in developing countries is the lack of sustainable income. Many of the indiviuals that we have had the pleasure of meeting suvive by subsistence farming – the practice of “living off the land,” and growing what you need to survive. While this might sound idyllic to many Western ears, it is full of hardship. When medical emergecies arise, where do you go for help? When a worm infests your crops, how do you feed your family? When the floods wash away your mud walled home, where will you sleep? With no income, how will you pay for your children’s school fees?
Our Journeys have brought us to the village of Akim Kwameng in the Eastern region of Ghana. It is here, in cooperation with our friend Edward Tarbi and the chief of the village, Nana, that we decied to build a cassava and garri mill. Over the last two and a half years, we’ve not only opened the mill, but expanded it to include a solar room to dry cassava peels and transform them into feed for livestock. In addition we’ve built a piggery where hogs are bred and raised to be sold. Our mill provides regular income for twenty individuals who are able to earn a regular income and for the first time can start planning for the future. We pay for medical insurance, and provide scholarships for their children to attend a higher quality school.
As we continue to improve the quality of the mill, we also see needs that go beyond simple employment. In 2022 we began work on a Training Center. It is our goal to create an environment where villagers can learn trade and business skills to prepare them to enter the modern global workforce. We hope to have it operational sometime in 2024. Students will be able to learn about carpentry, auto repair, welding, tailoring, and computer skills.
What role do you play?
We are a very small non-profit. This means that while our reach is small right now, we also are able to make a difference quickly. As of right now, we have no employees on this side of the ocean. That sounds incredible – right? 100% of our work here in the United States is done by our Board of Directors and commitees. All employees at the mill in Ghana are paid by the profits of the mill. This means that every dollar that you donate goes exactly where you designate it. If you have chosen to be a monthly sponsor, thank you. Please know that your monthly donation makes a huge difference in the work that we do.
Do you feel God’s nudging you to go to Africa with us? Currently we are sending two Journeys a year – For 2023 we have a team going in January and another going in June. Your trade skills, computer knowledge, and communication gifts are greatly needed.
Want to know more? Fill out the form to the right and let us know!