Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Potomac Feeding Pandemic

More Than 20,000 Fed During Pandemic

Story by Tiffany Doss

In 2010, Gavin Simpson, now a member of the Harrisonburg (Va.) church, embarked on a life-changing journey of faith as a missionary. Over the last decade, through Eleventh-Hour Laborers, a nonprofit ministering to the less reached regions of the world, he has worked in India, Nepal, Myanmar, and, most recently, Cuba. “We work in-person with the local churches,” he explains. “We train Bible workers and members to do effective community evangelism and outreach. Our Bible workers in Cuba baptized more than 300 individuals last year.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Simpson received emails regarding the lack of food in India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Benin, Togo, Liberia and Pakistan. “During mission trips, I developed a network with farmers in various cities. I began tapping into these contacts as stores were closed.” Farmers delivered food to churches, and church leaders distributed them to members and neighbors. The ministry has helped feed more than 20,000 people in nine countries.

“This initiative is exceptional because funds are from lay people,” explains Simpson. “Our overseas contacts help coordinate the purchases and delivery of food. Some of our project missionaries work in the interior of countries and travel with food—mainly on motorcycles (pictured) and on foot—for days to reach people. Food is distributed to all who have needs, regardless of background.”

Simpson adds, “Many who had been praying for relief have seen how God has miraculously brought food to them. In countries where Muslims persecute Christians, the Muslims have been humbled by how the same Christians have brought food to feed them.”

For more information on this ministry, visit

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