Elizabeth Swartley Stover, Dock Woods Community
with Claude Good. Worm Project Coordinator
On the evening of October 8th Franconia Heritage Family restaurant served a meal of rice and beans, coleslaw and jello served so good that even a famous local chef wanted the recipe for the beans!
That evening 135 caring people met at the restaurant to hear how God brought together a “special forces” team to do battle against one of humanity’s most loathsome enemies: food-depriving intestinal worms in poverty-stricken areas of the world. The weapon of choice in this battle is a small pill costing less than two cents. For that small amount at least five to ten lbs. of “groceries” can be “bought” for a child over a six-month period (the amount the worms would eat if still there).
God knew that this battle needed passionate, well-trained “warriors” to fight against these hidden enemies. He brought them together in his own way in answer to prayer. Each one has expertise in essential areas.
Worm Warrior Sid Gholson is retired, having worked for Georgia Pacific as a procurement person. His work took him all over the world giving him much experience and knowledge about how the world moves. Sid, and his Warrior wife Crystal, decided to use part of their retirement funds to de-worm children in orphanages around the world. Now they have expanded their ministry beyond orphanages and they have reached 26 countries. They call their ministry, “WOW NOW” or “WIPE OUT WORMS NOW” a name suggested by their ten-year-old granddaughter.
Another Warrior is Aaron Jackson. The 27 year old is the “John the Baptist” of the team, wearing a T-shirt, cotton slacks, a knitted skullcap and red shoes! He gave up his apartment in order to use the rent money he saved to help get Haitian children into orphanages. For a while he slept on the floor of a homeless shelter. Now he travels the world starting orphanages and getting de-worming medication to children. He was asked to appear on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and Larry King Live. As a result, the funds he has raised are sending millions of pills to countries such as Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Sudan, Kenya and Cameroon.
Known as the “Sparkplug”, Warrior Andrew Crawford works for Food for the Hungry in Phoenix, Az. Previously Andrew worked for a pharmaceutical company in their children’s department but he felt a yearning to do something for the poverty-stricken children of the world. The efficiency of de-worming, bringing added food to malnourished children, attracted Andrew to this kind of ministry. Now he and his organization take care of all the many details connected with shipping the pills to the different countries including the cost. He and his organization have now been distributing millions of pills on their own. Their latest goal is to treat 1.5 million families in the country of Burundi – a total of 7.8 million pills for each six-month distribution!
The fourth Warrior is Scott Hendrix. Scott owned a business in Chicago. He sold it because God called him “to work for him.” Within a week Campus Crusade for Christ International contacted him. Now he is in charge of GAiN (Global Aid Network) the humanitarian aid arm of Campus Crusade. Scott and his staff take care of the very difficult custom’s and warehousing issues. But because of their vast experience around the world they know the best routes through the ports.
Thanks to people like Andrew and Scott, 100% of donated funds go to purchasing the pills. There are a lot of “just happens” (God initiatives) in this ministry. One of them was when Andrew and Scott both were delayed overnight in New Orleans due to a canceled flight. They “just happened” to be on the same flight. In the hotel room that night they found common interests and the Worm Project has not been the same since!
Besides other warriors out in the field distributing, there were other warriors present that evening like Beth Beson who flew in from Michigan. She was inspired by Aaron to do something for the country of Cameroon. She is purchasing 1 million pills for that country. Another was Dr. Priscilla Benner and the MAMA Project team. She and the Worm Project are collaborating by sending 2 million pills to Honduras. One other warrior, Howard Schiffer of Vitamin Angels was not able to be present. Their group sends out high-potency Vitamin A capsules (to prevent blindness) also distributed every six months. Now they are piggy-backing the worm pills with their very large distributions.
These warriors work against poverty around the world. If they can keep up to 25% of the children’s food from the parasites, even the food supply of a nation is increased. This team prays for God’s guidance; they see him as the “Great Coordinator,” who wants His children, the least of these, fed.