More than Giving Bread, Teaching How to Make
To solve the problem of hunger, we must have a heart that is wiling to plant seeds. Seeks are planted in the soil. Seeds wait unseen under the soil, until they are able to germinate and break through its outer cover. The same is true with the problem of hunger. It is better to teach a person how to plant and harvest wheat and then turn it into bread, than it is to give a piece of bread to a person who is about to die. The former may be more difficult, and not result in as much public recognition, but it is the only way to arrive at a fundamental and sustainable solution to world hunger. We need to begin now to study the climate, soil, and the character of the people in areas that suffer from hunger.
In Africa, there is a species of tree called Manchuka. People in Congo feed the leaves of this tree, which are high in nutrition, to their cattle before taking them to market in order to fatten them up. People, too, will pound the leaves on a stone mUl, add some oil, and fry them in batter. It may be a good idea to plant many Manchuka trees and make powder out of the entire tree, after throwing out the root, which is poisonous.
The power can be used to make bread. Also, Jerusalem artichoke, which resemble sweet potatoes although it is a species of sunflower, grow very quickly once they are planted in the soil. The amount that can be harvested is three times greater than other famine relief crops. Planting a lot of Jerusalem artichoke is another way to contribute to resolving the hunger problem.
In Jardim, a large earthworm is used in farming, and this makes the soil quite fertile. This earthworm exists only in Campana, but perhaps we can study its ecology and use it to help agriculture in other areas. Koreans are working in the Mato Grosso region to study silkworms. If the cultivation of silkworms is successful there, it will be possible to make silk cheaply, and sell it to buy food.
There is no quick fix to the problem of world hunger. People in each country have different tastes for food and different customs, and the plants and animals are different The important point is concern for our neighbors. We first need to develop the heart that, when we are eating enough to fill our own stomachs, we think of others who are going hungry consider how we can help them. True peace will not come, as long as humanity does not solve the problem of hunger. If the person next to me is about to die of hunger, peace is a mere luxury.
It is just as important to teach the skills needed become self sufficient in food as it is to distribute food directly to those in need. To each such skills, schools will have to be built in remote areas to combat illiteracy. Technical schools will need to be established in order to give people the ability to support themselves. The Westerners who conquered Africa and South America did not provide technology to the people who were already there. They only used the people as laborers as they sought to dig up and take away the resources that were buried in the ground. They did not teach the people how to farm or how to operate a factory. This was not right. Our church has, from the early stage of our foreign mission work, established schools in Zaire, Congo, Guyana, Paraguay and Brazil where we teach agriculture and industrial technology.
Another problem faced by people suffering from hunger is that they cannot afford proper medical treatment when they become ill. On the other side of the world, developed countries are seeing a overuse of drugs, but people who are hungry often die because they could not afford simple medicine for diarrhea or a cold. So, as we work to eradicate hunger, we must also provide medical support. We must establish clinics and care for those who suffer from chronic illness.
I created New Hope Farms in Brazil's Jardim region as a model to show how humanity can live together in peace. We tilled a wide expanse of land to make farmland, and there is a cattle ranch in the higher elevations. New Hope Farms is in Brazil, but it does not belong only to the people of Brazil. Anyone who is hungry can go to New Hope Farms, work and be fed. Some 2,000 people from all races and from all over the world can always eat and sleep there. We will establish schools all the way from elementary school to university. People will be taught how to farm and how to raise cattle. We will also teach how to plant trees and raise them, how catch fish and then process and sell them. We do not only have a farm. We use the numerous lakes in the vicinity of the river to create fish farms and fishing grounds.
Paraguay's Chaco region occupies 60 percent of that country's territory, but has been a neglected land. The Chaco region was formed when the sea rose to become land, and even now you get salty water gushes up when you dig into the ground. I was in my 70s when I first went to Paraguay. The lives of the people living in this long neglected land were impoverished beyond words. It caused me great pain in my heart to see them. I sincerely wanted to help them, but they were not prepared to accept me, a person of a different skin color who spoke a different language. I did not give up, however. I followed the Paraguay River for three months, eating and sleeping with the people there. At more than 70 years of age, I was taking on a task that people said was impossible. I found that none of the people there knew how to fish. They were amazed to see me catch fish with a fishing pole, and they gathered around me to watch. I taught them how to fish, and they taught me their language. We traveled around on the boat together like this for three months and became friends.
Once they began to open their hearts, I talked to them again and again about why the world must become one. At first their reaction was indifferent Year by year, though, the people of Chaco began to change. After ten years, they changed so much that they held a global peace festival with great enthusiasm.
The Paraguay River is as deep and wide as the sea. I went out on this river in a large boat and fished. The people of Chaco who had nothing to do and were starving are now able to support themselves by fishing. They caught so many fish that they began to rot, so we built a refrigeration facility on the riverbank. We also built a factory capable of producing fish powder. Those who are too afraid to go out on a boat are working in the refrigeration factory to store and sell the fish. They no longer feel despair or suffer as a result of hunger. Resolving the food situation does not mean that peace will follow mediately. After the hunger issue has been resolved, it isimportant to carry out educational programs on peace and love. I have built many schools in places such as Jardim and Chaco. At first, people didn't send their children to school, having them help raise cattle instead. We worked to convince the people that, although it is good to be friends with the cows and play, they cannot develop with an education. As a result, we now have many students. We built a light industrial factory where they could produce items using simple technologies, and the students became more interested in attending school so they could work in the factory.
We are all responsible for the people around the world who die of hunger. We need to take action to help them. We need to feel a clear sense of responsibility and find a way that they can be fed and saved. People who live well should come down to a slightly lower position, and raise up those who live poorly, to bring about a world where all people live well