This past month, Hope Through Healing Hands partnered with the Nashville Public Library and local independent bookstore, Parnassus Books, for a boxed lunch conversation regarding the stories discussed in the recently released book, The Mother and Child Project.

The well-attended event featured a panel of speakers which included: Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, MD; Recording Artist and Co-founder of Hope for Justice International, Natalie Grant; Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Scott Sauls; and the Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, Dr. Sten Vermund.

The conversation centered on The Mother and Child Project book that released in March 2015. The panel discussion opened with introductions from HTHH’s Executive Director, Dr. Jenny Eaton Dyer and was moderated by Senator Frist. The guest speakers were asked to share their experiences and stories of their work with impoverished women and children in developing nations.

Natalie Grant shared personal heart-wrenching stories of her work in combatting human trafficking and modern day slavery. Scott Sauls offered a pastoral take regarding charity efforts where he stated, “we wrongly think that charity starts at home and ends at home…we are so turned in on ourselves.”  Dr. Sten Vermund contributed his insights from his more than twenty years of experience and research in underserved areas around the world and the importance of maternal-child health issues.

At the close of the event, Senator Frist addressed the next steps for  “What can we do?”

The call to action asked attendees to consider obtaining education on the issues, promoting awareness with friends, family, and communities, and advocating through contacting elected leaders to let them know that these issues matter.

Many lives can be saved with resources that are available right now in the developing world, but we have to mobilize, act, and advocate.