I saw a quote recently that said, “I wanted to ask God why there was so much suffering in the world, but I was afraid he’d ask me the same thing.”
I just got home from packing meals for Feed My Starving Children. Wow. I’m not even sure where to begin.
It was neat…Jim, Craig and I weren’t part of a large group but chose to be put wherever they needed a few extra to make a group. I ended up with Brownie Troop 245. Since we were busy packing, not talking, I didn’t really get to know anyone in the group. But overhearing some of their comments made it all the more precious of an experience.
When we gathered around the table, the girls chose which jobs they wanted to start at. There were scoopers, who put the chicken, vegetables, soy and rice into a funnel. There were baggers, who put the ba under the funnel, and then handed it to the weighers. The weighers had scales that they used to make sure each bag had the correct amount of food. The bags were then passed to the sealers, who sealed the bags and gave them to me. I was the boxer. I stacked two bags on each number (numbers one through eighteen on the table) and when each number had two bags, I then got to box them up. This was the exciting part, because each time we had a full box, we got to yell for a runner to come pick it up.
We yelled things like, “Troop 2-4-5 rocks!” and “Do you want fries with that?” It didn’t really matter what we yelled…it was so loud with all the other groups working and yelling and the music that whatever we yelled just sounded like a loud noise. But the girls had fun thinking up things to say, so it didn’t matter if no one else could understand us.
Throughout their packing, I heard the girls talking about the look of the food and what it would be like to have to eat it. One of the girls made the comment that if they were hungry they would be happy to have it. One little girl said that she would have to be starving to be happy to have it. Then she paused and you could see a light go on inside her. They started talking about what things they would miss the most; their rooms, toys, computers. They talked about which foods they would miss the most and what one things would be the hardest to give up.
It was great to be able to share the experience with them. I think what impacted me most was the fact that the little bag that we packed held six meals in it. Think about having 1 cup (coffee cup) of dry rice and 1 cup of soy, 1 tablespoon of a chicken flavored ingredient and 1 teaspoon of some type of dried vegetable. Put the ingredients in water and when it is cooked, call your family or 5 other people to share it with you.
The videos that they showed were extremely hard to watch. To see children so sick that they couldn’t raise their heads and then, after a couple of years being fed nutriously, they were able to run and play. To see the impact that a few cents a day could make in their lives. For most of us, seventeen cents a day is nothing. To them, it’s the difference between eating and starving, between life and death.
It was a lot to take in. What will I do once I’ve sorted through it all? Will I just put it down as a good day and move on? Pastor Doug made the comment this morning that once the attention to this event fades, what will we do? Will we still be moved to serve? What will my attitude be tomorrow? Will I be obedient to whatever God calls me to do?
Tomorrow, children will be fed because of what groups like Feed My Starving Children are doing. But, tomorrow, children will also die, because not enough has been done. What do I have that can make a difference and am I willing to give it up for Christ? I have to make a choice…because to do nothing is a choice.
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15