Why Exuma ?

3 19 2013 8 48 49 PM

Starve Poverty was born out of the heart of a man who has fallen in love with the poor.  It operates out of an ability to deploy humanitarian resources and target those resources toward specific projects that benefit specific people or groups of people.  The organization was formed from the remnants of a group that had partnered with Ron Fraser in the past; the resulting organization is now more effective than ever.

Starve Poverty seeks to expand its vision by expanding its scope of work, thereby benefiting greater numbers of people, both in the Bahamas and elsewhere.  In the Bahamas, where the perception of the separation of church and state is not as strident as it is in the U.S., SPI is able to partner with the Bahamian government on building projects through the many relationships it has obtained, over the years, with governmental leaders.  These projects vary is size from the rehabilitation of existing dwellings and tying residential structures into the local water infrastructure, to from-scratch residential design and construction.  These projects are occasionally dirty jobs that take a strong stomach to execute; other projects more often demand the commitment of the team to the project’s completion.  In every instance, the team is rewarded with the knowledge that needs have been met and lives have been changed.

For some years, Ron Fraser was a trained counselor and a pastor whose focus was his local flock of people individuals with their own particular needs, the vast majority of whom did not have to wonder if their home would survive the next big storm.  In the year 1992, Ron was sent to a pastor’s conference in San Diego, where he took the opportunity to visit Tijuana, Mexico.

Tijuana was a side-trip that would change Ron’s life.  Knowing that his wife was able to properly care for his newborn daughter, he saw not what the tourist industry would like the world to see of Tijuana, but he instead saw women unable to care for their newborns; he saw squalor that, for the rest of his life, defined the meaning of the word.  This was poverty unlike anything he had ever seen in the United States.  This was the detour that would correct the course of Ron’s life and result in the eventual founding of Starve Poverty International.

For years after the visceral experience that was Tijuana, Ron carried with him a desire to minister the gospel of reconciliation with his hands and the hands of those who, along with him, would build for those who have no building to call their own.  With a desire to go back to Mexico and minister there, Ron also believed that a more effective ministry could take place in a region where a language barrier was not a hindrance to the work at hand.

When asked to visit the islands of Exuma to train local pastors in counseling, Ron Fraser found that the people of Exuma were of the same tongue as those in the U.S. (both countries have histories linked to the United Kingdom). He also found that the physical needs of the people on the island were nearly as desperate as those in Tijuana; in addition, those with housing one day could be without housing the next, depending upon the severity of storm activity in the region.