When we return to Guatemala on July 11, with Orphan’s Heart, our team’s goal is to distribute 75 food baskets to the families of the children at the Malnutrition Center. The families are able to visit their children once a week until they are healthy enough to return home. Fifty dollars is needed to fill each family basket. That’s less than the cost of one meal when my family eats at our favorite restaurant, but this basket has food staples in it that will last approximately three months!
As I was contemplating on the basket project, the story of Jesus Feeding the 5,000 came to memory. In Mark 6, we find Jesus teaching a very large crowd out in a rural setting, away from the towns, As he looked out on the crowd, the Bible says he had compassion on the people. As it was getting late the disciples ordered Jesus to send them away so that they could go back into the towns and buy food for themselves. But Jesus replied “ you give them something to eat“. They replied that they didn’t have the money to feed the 5,000 men plus women and children. A boy was there that had 5 loaves of bread and two fish, and he gave his lunch to Jesus, and the rest is history. After it reached the hands of Jesus, He offered thanks, the disciples passed the food out, and there were 12 baskets of extra food collected after they had all finished eating!
I want you to take a moment to ask yourself two questions. The first question is : “When was the last time that I or my children lacked for food?” According to USaid.gov, the average US citizen spends one-tenth of their family income on food, while the poorest of the world spend over fifty percent of their income on food. Inside the Malnutrition Center. Almost half of all rural Guatemalan children, under the age of 5, are malnourished. That is a staggering number! I’ve seen first-hand the effects of malnutrition. There were several babies who had recently arrived that our team cared for. There was also a “before and after” photo album in the lunch room, to show testimony of how these kids entered their care, some in the back of a rural Guatemalan ambulance, a small pickup truck, with ribs you could easily count, and rashes and thinning hair, to leaving in a “picture of health”. No one needed to convince me further that there was a real problem in this rural countryside in Guatemala, and that we were there to make a difference in these children’s lives, and to continue to make a difference after we left, through monthly sponsoring one child.
Now, the second question I ask you to ask yourself: “Can I give, and I am I willing to give the cost of my lunch to help a family in Guatemala?” Going back to the story of Jesus Feeding the 5,000 men plus women and children. First we see Jesus had compassion on the crowds. He looked out and had compassion. What the disciples thought was a good reason to send them away, “they need to eat”, Jesus commanded them to take the responsibility to feed them, even when there was no way possible for them to take on that big responsibility. But a way was made, through one boy’s lunch, to feed the masses. God used one unnamed boy who was willing to give all that he had and place it in the Hands of Jesus and watch a miracle take place! Jesus could have asked the crowd to come to a buffet line to get the food themselves, but he gave the bread and fish His disciples, for them to take to the crowd. God provides, but we are the hands and feet of Jesus. He asks us to personally carry the food to the hungry.
Next month I’m traveling back to Guatemala to be the hands and feet of Jesus and I’m asking you, my friends and family, to share your lunch, just like the boy did, in order fill the baskets with whatever you wish to give. One of my favorite verses on giving is Proverbs 19:7 “ Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.” You can go to Orphans Heart to donate. After you have selected the amount please indicate in the last step, under Gift Details, that the donation is for Guatemala Food Baskets. Thanks for participating in this important mission, whether you give one lunch or ten, as you will be blessed!