The Morning After

This past weekend we launched a 3-week campaign at our church we’re calling Celebration of Hope. Our focus is on limiting our consumption in order to feed hungry children in Zimbabwe. I had the privilege of speaking about Poverty and Hunger in our services, digging into the Scriptures such as the story Jesus told in Luke 12 about the rich man who kept building bigger barns. What an accurate image of we Americans and our meaningless over-consumption! Meanwhile, a silent holocaust takes place every year as 6 million children under the age of 5 die of hunger-related causes.

I rejoice in the growing passion of our congregation to voluntarily limit our consumption and make sacrifices to serve the under-resourced. Part of our campaign includes a 5-day Solidarity with the Poor eating plan that will run from today through Friday. We’ve challenged people to eat just three simple meals a day (approximately a l cup portion), with no snacks, soft drinks, etc. When we feel those hunger pangs, we will identify with the 1 billion people on our planet who live on less than $1.00 a day. My husband and I are engaging in this plan with our teen-age daughters, who have already whined a bit, but are willing to give it a shot. I think this is a tremendous way we can help our kids grasp the vast inequities between the poor and the non-poor.

For three weeks, leading up to Mothers Day, we are all finding ways to limit our consumption in other ways as well, saving the resources and putting the funds in an envelope to pay for the 3.5 million meals we are packing and sending to Zimbabwe. Those meals will feed 15,000 children for one entire year! We already have almost all the required 15,000 volunteer slots filled for 2 hours of meal packing. It looks like we’ll have to turn away some people who really want to serve.

In Guest Central, our location for greeting people after the service, I enjoyed some tremendous conversations. One woman, with tears in her eyes, told me she had been deeply moved by the service. Her plan had been to go shopping after church to buy some Gucci shoes she had saved for. Instead, she pressed $1,000. of cash into my hand and asked for the money to go toward Celebration of Hope. (I don’t know why she was carrying so much cash!) There’s such a deep joy in giving, and I could see that joy all over her face. We have a long way to go in this country toward caring for the poor, and I know I still have a lot of growing to do. But I do celebrate evidence of progress as hearts are softening. Nothing could be closer to the heart of God.

1 comment:

Ray Deck III said...

It's cool to hear about God's people mobilizing to do something less than glamorous. I do drama and theatre all the time, and as much as I love that ministry, there is a lot of other things to be done. Many things that are less glamorous than dance or drama ministry. It's good to hear that those things are not being neglected. 15,000! wow. That's great!

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