Wednesday, May 12, 2010


What does HNGR stand for you are asking yourself. You know you are. Look at it. Sound it out.

Huuuunnnnnnggggger. Yes, HNGR sounds like hunger if you say it. But that isn’t what it means, not by a long shot.

HNGR stands for Human Needs and Global Resources.

Founded at Wheaton College in 1976, Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) is an interdisciplinary certificate program that equips students to confront the multiple challenges faced by peoples and nations of the Global South. Comprising substantial portions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, these regions face overwhelming challenges, including poverty, hunger, exclusion, underdevelopment, conflict, injustice, ecological disasters, and major health concerns. At the same time, these regions are endowed with substantial human and natural resources which are their hope and future.

In partnership with host organizations worldwide, HNGR combines classroom study with field-based service-learning internships in which students participate in transformational initiatives that enable people to live whole, secure, and productive lives. HNGR aims to promote in students a commitment to confronting human needs through their lifestyle and vocational decisions. Since the Program's inception, more than 600 students have participated in HNGR internships in 65 countries worldwide.

Why do I bring this to your attention? Well, it is because we were privileged to be able to attend the “HNGR Certificate Celebration” while we were at the TEO/TASiL/TFD Wheaton College graduation this past weekend. Why would we attend this particular thing which impacts a relatively small number of students (25)on campus each year but has great impact on the global community?

It is because TASiL was a “HNGR student” and we, as the future in-laws, were privileged to pray for him during this time. The students who are accepted into this program are amazing to me, really. It isn’t just something that you wake up one day and say, “Hey, I think I want to do this.” They begin the process Freshman year with a stop at the HNGR office and taking their first HNGR intro class. They make application for the program Sophomore year (not all are accepted and the process is rigorous) and plan their remaining HNGR course work. Junior year they have more HNGR course work as well as decisions as to where they will be placed in terms of country and internship. At the end of their Junior year, usually in May or June they leave for a 6 MONTH internship. That is 6 months away from family, from friends, from fiancee (TEO). And all of this happens while they are still maintaining course work for their college major. These students earned degrees in: International Relations and Bible/Theology, Anthropology, Philosophy,Economics, Studio Art(Graphic Design/Photography), Spanish, Interdisciplinary Studies, Political Science, Biology, Geophysics, Sociology. And many of them did it (TASiL) with honors.

You can’t call these students “kids”, they are adults in mind and body and spirit. They served in such places as Peru, Cambodia, Honduras, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Bulgaria, Cost Rica, India (TASiL), Tanzania, China, Syria, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Nicaragua and Kenya. They served orphans and widows of the Rwandan genocide, conducted health impact studies in Cambodia, worked with teenage street girls in Bolivia, assisted in hospitals in Uganda, gave holistic care to HIV/AIDS patients in China, developed training materials that NGO’s can use when dealing with human trafficking survivors in Sierra Leone and so many more things. Their impact will be felt.

Oh how I wish that other students at other colleges were as globally minded as these students are. That they could see the need that there is out there and be willing to lay themselves out for those needs. HHBL and I have encountered HNGR students in Peru, Ghana and Rwanda and we have been overwhelmed.

Sorry this is so long and we are only, finally getting to the pictures. I just had to tell you about these kids first. You know mean and words, we just can’t seem to stay away from each other.img_6057A Thank you sir for having your large head in the middle of many of my pictures. Darn my vertical challengedness.
img_6063A We started off the celebration by singing in French and Spanish. Obviously I just hummed along because my French is very rusty and my Spanish is non-existent. Loved the outfit!
img_6069A The HNGR “stoles” were made by women in a small village in China and were commissioned by the HNGR office through one of the students, Dan Lin, who served in China.
img_6075A                                                  Awesome job TASiL!!!
img_6081Aimg_6085                          This is TEO’s roomie, Christine, who served in Peru.
img_6082 Hey! How did that picture of my knitting get in here. You thought I went to this thing without my knitting?? How long have you been hanging around here?
img_6102A                        I ask for forgiveness because I have really severe lens envy.
 img_6105A TASiL and his dad. This man has nerves of steel I am thinking. Luke drove TASiL from their home in Pakistan to the Pakistan/India border where he watched TASiL walk across the border with his backpack, suitcase and guitar case so that TASiL could take a taxi, bus and train to get to his internship. Like I said, nerves of steel. And a wicked sense of humor.

This is the HNGR Covenant that this group of students wrote. I think it says it all. Thanks TASiL for letting me use this.

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God.
Lord, in your mercy, hear these our prayers:
When confronted with scarcity, need and inadequacy,
May we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation.
Abundance overflows from your table, sustaining all who come in faith.
Father, help us.
When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses,
May we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life,
Submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit.
Christ, guide us.
When wounded by the fractured condition of your people,
May we be untied by your Lordship in faith, hope, and love,
Seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto
your holy Church joined in praise.
Spirit, empower us.
When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair,
May the promise of redemption root us in the hope of your Kingdom:
”Behold, I am making all things new!”
Holy Tirnity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart.



  1. Fabulous! It is great to see young people interested and willing to make the world a better place. The students at the college I work at, William and Mary, are amazing in my opinion. To take a quote from our web site...

    "Seventy-five percent of W&M students participate in service projects, contributing an astonishing 323,000 service hours each year through 90 regional partnerships and dozens of national and international service trips."

    Hopefully more schools and students will follow and give of their time as these two schools have. :)

  2. Wow! What a fine and courageous young man you are having join your family! It is comforting to know that in these crazy times, there are young adults coming of age who have not only intelligence, but integrity as well. Congrats to you all!


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