Tag Archives: Worm Project

Claude Good’s International Legacy of Love

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by Sharon K Williams, Nueva Vida Norristown New Life

January 10, 1929 – September 03, 2019

Claude E. Good, 90, was a practical visionary and a common-sense prophet of God. His ministry spanned almost 60 years of translating and distributing the Bible, welcoming international students, and leading The Worm Project, a deworming effort that reaches millions of people in more than 70 countries. An ordained minister of Franconia Conference, Claude entered into his eternal reward on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

I had the privilege of working with Claude at Franconia Conference/Eastern District’s conference center in Souderton, Pennsylvania, in the 1990s. During that time, the conference celebrated the publishing of Claude’s Triqui translation of the New Testament. Claude and his wife, Alice Longenecker Good, raised their family among the Triqui in Mexico from 1960 to 1985, supported by Franconia Conference Missions.

After returning to the United States, Claude’s ministry moved to a home base at the conference center. Claude quietly contacted government officials in countries around the world, promoting Albendazole deworming pills as an effective way to address severe malnutrition issues caused by parasites. Today, The Worm Project is a very unique “Matthew 25” ministry, and its fundraising efforts captures the imaginations of young and old alike. We marveled over the cost of deworming pills (at that time, $.05, lasting for six months) compared to $5/month for deworming pills for our pets. We shared practical ideas for simple living, making peace, and sharing the gospel.

Claude also taught conversational English at the International House in Philadelphia, PA, and helped Mennonite families build relationships with students who were a long way from home. The Goods opened doors for us to welcome strangers in our homes through the Peach Festival, sharing good food and the good news of Jesus. Coupled with that ministry, the Goods also spearheaded the International Scripture Ministry at Souderton Mennonite Church, where they were members.

Claude receiving EMU’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006. (L. to R. : Loren Swartzentruber, EMU President, Claude and Alice Good, and Pat Swartzentruber)

“Claude’s life has borne witness to the gentle and persistent love of Christ,” said Steve Kriss, Franconia Conference’s Executive Minister. “He helped Franconia Conference embrace a world bigger than itself, from the mountains of Mexico where he translated the New Testament to creating one of the world’s largest deworming programs, which remains a conference initiative. Claude’s work was deeply personal but also carried us together as a people in the way of Christ’s peace to the ends of the earth. We mourn Claude’s death but celebrate his life and legacy of faithfulness.”

Claude was preceded in death by Alice. They have five children: Marcia, Cecilia, Tricia (Mark), Carl, and Robert (Tami); nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Services will be held at Souderton Mennonite Church, Saturday, September 14, 4:00 pm and Souderton Mennonite Homes, Sunday, September 15, 2:00 pm.  View his obituary here

From Lukewarm to Hot Christians, part 2

Claude Goodby Claude Good, Souderton congregation

The Hidden Agenda Behind the Worm Project

So what is a Lukewarm Christian? Francis Chan wrote a book called Crazy Love. In it he describes the characteristics of a Lukewarm Christian: Lukewarm Christians love others but not as much as they love themselves; their love often comes with strings attached; they give money to charities and the church as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living; they choose what is popular over what is right; they are thankful for their luxuries and comforts but they rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor; they want to do the bare minimum to be “good enough;” they do not live by faith; their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.

The author comes to the sobering conclusion that there is no such thing as a “Lukewarm Christian.” It is an oxymoron, meaning that the two words cancel each other out. If Jesus says that He will spit them out of his mouth, it means that they are really not His followers.

If you know you are “lukewarm” and you’d like to let God light a fire in you, the Bible most certainly has the answer. It starts with the words, “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God….” I am told that in the original “to seek” has more of the meaning of “to crave.” Anyone who has an addiction to drugs or alcohol knows what “to crave” means. Some who crave chocolate or sugary foods may even understand – you gotta have it!

An earnest seeking for God is bound to create a love for him and his son Jesus Christ and we naturally want to obey the command, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  We can tell from human experience that if we are in love with someone the easiest thing to do is what we know that person wants. The same is true when we truly love Jesus.

If you are lukewarm, let your imagination run wild. Imagine yourself in a beautiful state, surrounded with deep love and filled with gratitude. God is magnificently creative; just think of what he can do with dust! Three times he tells us that “the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7). Try standing in front of a mirror and in wonder and astonishment take note of what God can do with dust.  We all have the attractive choice of being made and remade into in His image.

One of my delightful memories from Mexico City is walking with all our children to the grocery store through scenic back streets. Once when we were almost home, I looked around and in dismay said, “Where’s Rob?!” He was our youngest and about five years-old. We dashed back to the store and looked all over for him. As we returned to the street, we saw a kindly lady leading Rob by the hand and saying, “Is this your house?”  Rob would tearfully say, “No.” and then they would go to the next house with the same question and answer. You can imagine our great relief and gratitude to that kind woman when Rob was back with us again.

So again I say to all of us, “I just want us all to be together forever.”  I want us all to know God and to love God and to care for others so that they may also know God and love God and care for others.  Let’s all be together forever, red-hot Christians, becoming more and more like Jesus.

Read From Lukewarm to Hot Christians, part 1

From Lukewarm to Hot Christians, part 1

Claude Goodby Claude Good, Souderton congregation

The Hidden Agenda Behind the Worm Project

Recently I had a visit from a friend. Our conversation turned to the pain of the world. Much to my surprise he broke out weeping; his weeping was caused by his deep concern for the people still living in the pain of darkness. He asked for a tissue. The next day I found the crunched up tissue and was about to chuck it in the garbage. But I suddenly thought, “I can’t throw this away because it holds tears that I believe are sacred to God.”  So I put it in a special place to remind me of how much God wants us to care for those living in darkness as well as the poor who are hungry and sick.

While living in Mexico, we sometimes took our small children to visit zoos or museums.  There were so many people around us we had to keep alert to see that we stayed together. But little Ceci made it easier. She would anxiously watch to see that none of her siblings got out of our sight; she really wanted us to stay together!

So how does that story relate to the hidden agenda behind the Worm Project?

In the beginning it appeared the Worm Project might never get off the ground. We couldn’t find people interested in distributing the tablets. I was nearly ready to give up. But I had another reason to keep trying. Just like our daughter’s deep concern for her biological family, I really wanted all of us as Mennonites to be together forever just like we want our families to be with us for eternity. All of us are part of a larger family; my prayer is that as many of us as absolutely possible will be together throughout eternity along with all the redeemed ones from every tribe and nation.  And if we are to be together forever, we must know God.

So what could be done that might encourage us lukewarm Christians to be hungry to know God? In Jer.22:10, God told the son of Josiah in strong terms that he was only thinking of himself by building a fancy palace and making people work for nothing. But his father Josiah, God said, had defended the cause of the poor and needy. AND THEN GOD MAKESTHE VERY CRUCIAL STATEMENT, “Is that not what it means to know me?” Caring for the poor is one way to know God.

Many Mennonites are frugal. Combine that with the fact that $100 will treat 7,000 sickly children, ridding them of worms (1.4 cents each tablet)–that is bargain basement prices for those who know how to pinch pennies.  We like to say: “Little is much if God is in it.” And we know God IS in it because he says, “Spend yourself/pour yourself out on behalf of the hungry.”  For those who obey, he promises that we will become like “a well-watered garden…. or a spring that never fails” (Isa.58:10 -12). The Spirit of God tends to build a real compassion within us as we realize how many can be helped with our resources. Lukewarm American Christians need an increased awareness of the pain and darkness in the world. Knowing God intimately is the key to having God’s caring heart within us for those living in that pain and darkness.

Thankfully, God, the “Divine Coordinator,” supernaturally inspired many of our people to respond with love and care for the children with worms. God, the Divine Multiplier, has multiplied our gifts in a marvelous way. Well over 100 million tablets have gone out. He has also brought together a highly motivated Board and a team of Partners who are overseeing the distributions in many countries. The passion of both these groups of red-hot Christians insures that the program will continue.

The Worm Project: The power of “one”

by Diana Gehman, Worm Project, dianagehman@yahoo.comWorm Project

His forwarded emails had all the intriguing elements of an obscure drug dealing story: ‘international searches for the cheapest manufacturer; purchases of the drug in bulk quantities for lower prices; recruitment and networking with distributors in the United States and third world countries; research for ways to get the drug into countries where customs posed barriers or required monetary bribes; and leaving a paper trail showing 100% of all donations going to a nonprofit charity. I was drawn into the contagious passion that this 80-year-old man breathed into every word, a passion that beckons others to join him.’This inconspicuous man is Claude Good. His passion is The Worm Project.’

That passion started out of a scenario of desperation. While serving as a Franconia Conference missionary in Mexico with the Triqui Indians from 1960 through 1985, Good became increasingly frustrated that children were suffering and dying from malnutrition from intestinal parasites, or “worms.” He set out to find a way to alleviate their condition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worms ate up to 25% of what little food the already malnourished children could obtain. Infections from intestinal parasites caused stunted growth, weight loss, asthma, diarrhea, low immune systems, learning disabilities, and even death. After diligently searching, Good found a miracle drug called Albendazole, which given every 6 months for 3 years would eradicate the intestinal parasites and enable a child to benefit from the nutritional value of all food eaten. Thus, out of desperation came inspiration: eradicate malnutrition in children in impoverished countries by wiping out worms through the distribution of Abendazole tablets. The Worm Project was born.

The scale of the challenge was formidable. WHO estimates that over 2 billion people around the world are infected with common intestinal worms and over 150,000 are estimated to die every year. Before long, Claude was able to find established nongovernmental organizations that were eagerly looking to form partnerships. These partnerships provided the most efficient method for the distribution of Albendazole and provided necessary education, skills, and other resources to reduce morbidity in these desperate countries.

Worm ProjectFrom The Worm Project’s inception until today, abundant giving has enabled the purchase of over 75 million Albendazole tablets, which roughly equates to 375 million pounds of food saved from worms. During 2011, The Worm Project will purchase 30 million tablets and reach out in some form to approximately 70 countries. Currently The Worm Project is able to purchase one tablet for 1.4 cents. That means 6 tablets given over 3 years costs less than 10 cents. The multiplied power of a contribution can be seen from these World Health Organization figures: $10 will treat 700 children and save 3,500 pounds of food from worms.

Please join us at The Worm Project Banquet held at the Franconia Heritage Restaurant in Franconia, Pa. on Wednesday, September 14 at 6 pm. See for yourself how God uses His power in you and others to change the lives of His hungry children forever. Feast on simple and delicious third world foods. Learn how you can be a part of The Worm Project’s 2012 goal to distribute 60 million tablets. The banquet is free, but please register by contacting Claude Good at (267) 932-6050, ext. 136 or cgood@franconiaconference.org. You can also visit WormProject.org.

In the gospels, Jesus commands the disciples to feed 5,000 hungry people in a remote location. Andrew responded: “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Andrew asks a legitimately human question in response to a seemingly absurd command. Jesus responded to Andrew’s question not with words, but by modeling how to surrender our will to the infinite, miraculous power of God’s love. It is God who does the work through us. One small hungry boy gave all that he had to eat that day. Looking to the Father, Jesus gave thanks, broke the bread, and then gave it away. One boy. One lunch. 5,000 people fed. Be “The Power of One”.

After the earthquake: Working to bring healing and hope to Haiti

Jessica Walter, Ambler

some-of-orphans-at-orphanag-copy.jpgIn the weeks and months following the massive earthquake sustained by Haiti in January, Franconia Conference continues to collect funds to assist the Grace Assembly Network congregations in the rebuilding and reconstruction following the Haiti earthquake.

In the days following the earthquake, communication with key Grace Assembly Network leader, Pastor Lesly Bertrand, was limited, but phone calls and a visit form Mennonite Central Committee staff assured the conference of his and his family’s well-being.

Many also waited anxiously for word from the 27 member team from Souderton (Pa.) Mennonite Church who traveled to Haiti for a week long service trip with the Water for Life program located in Passe bois d’orme and the Tree of Life program in La Baleine, Haiti. The team was escorted to safety after the intial earthquake and, in the days that followed, was able to provide some medical relief in a small makeshift refugee village in Cote de Fer. The team returned to Pennsylvania safely on January 18, after an only a few days extension.

“I will never forget arriving in Port-au-Prince before the earthquake and going through the city,” reflected Christopher Dock Mennonite High School senior, Jordan Miller, during a sharing time at Souderton Mennonite. “When the earthquake struck on Tuesday, we had no idea of the magnitude of the situation. It never really hit me until we went back through Port-au-Prince and saw the same places. The destruction was terrible and it was hard to see the fairness of the earthquake happening to an already poor nation. Many of the Haitians in Passe bois d’orme were still praising God with the same vigor after the earthquake, which was really impacting. Their relationship with God was amazing and it gave me a new sense of how to worship. I like to think I have faith in God, but you never really know until it is put to the test, like it was for the Haitians who had lost family and friends, and had little reason to keep on praising God. They did anyway.”

Pastors Aaron Durso and Curt Malizzi from the Hopewell Network of Churches set out to Port-au-Prince on January 22 to learn more about the earthquake’s effects on Grace Assembly Network’s congregations and ministries. Franconia Conference sent a satellite phone with the pastors, to be delivered to Pastor Lesly to help establish more regular contact. The phone was intended to empower Pastor Lesly in his work and ministry by opening doors for conversation that would allow movement of goods and lifting of spirits as the recovery continues in Port-au-Prince.

section-of-security-wall-co-copy.jpgFrom Curt Malizzi . . . “On Saturday, January 23, we toured the site of the Grace Assembly Network orphanage and found the building to be perfectly preserved, but the perimeter security walls had two large sections fallen down and some additional walls leaning.”

To our surprise, as we arrived at the orphanage, a truck of donated food supplies arrived from the Mennonite congregations of the Dominican Republic coordinated through Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). There was much joy in the area and a first food distribution was held for the area people.”

The well at the orphanage keeps running every day to supply water to around 2,000 people. The orphanage is in the Bellanton area which is about 18km northeast of Port au Prince. In the Bellanton area I estimate that about 25% (1 of every 4) of the houses have been demolished or seriously damaged by the earthquake. The Bellanton church building and school suffered much damage, but the Christian believers showed they are staying strong in the Lord with a wonderful celebration of praise on Sunday morning attended by us and the MCC delegation. Thanks to Franconia Conference, a satellite phone was temporarily provided for Pastor Lesly to maintain outside the nation contacts until the cell phone towers began working again.”

The immediate needs are to help reconstruct the security walls and reoccupy the orphanage, then to reconstruct some of the church buildings and pastors’ houses. We appreciate and thoughts and prayers for the people of Haiti and especially the 1,500 people of the Grace Assemblies churches in Haiti.”

Mennonite Central Committee continues to partner with Grace Assembly to bring healing and hope to Haiti. Another shipment of canned meat was distributed by Grace Assembly Network through MCC in early February.

Congregations and individuals from across Franconia Conference continue to be involved in providing relief and support to Haiti.

Franconia Conference gathered funding to support Dr. James Conrad, of Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, in joining a medical team to Haiti coordinated by Virginia Mennonite Missions and MCC. The Souderton congregation has raised support for Haiti through collecting offerings, four person (or larger) tents, relief kits and bedding for MCC and holding a benefit concert on March 20th.

The earthquake halted the distribution of 3.1 million deworming pills delivered to Haiti by the Worm Project but the pills are now being administered again. During this time of limited clean water and food resources parasite removal is crucial. The Worm Project is now preparing to ship three million more pills to Haiti. For more information contact Claude Good at cgood@franconiaconference.org.

MCC continues to post regular updates on their relief efforts in Haiti, including their work with Grace Assembly Network. To get the most updated information visit www.mcc.org.

Franconia Conference continues to actively solicit contributions toward the ministry of Grace Assembly Network in this critical time for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.