Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feed the Bay 2009

This past Sunday, our church participated in Feed The Bay 2009. We let the date sneak up on us and had forgotten about it. However, in the middle of praise and worship, Paul and I decided to go to the store afterwards anyway and participate.

The goal was for the congregations of the 20 something participating churches in the area to all grocery shop after church and donate everything to the local food banks. They wanted to be able to stock the pantries of 13 local food banks to help feed the hungry. Our Pastor gave the statistic that 40,000 people are hungry in the area. That's unbelievable. To think that someone can't feed their child. I can't imagine the personal pain I would experience knowing I couldn't get resources together and my child was hungry.

Austin didn't quite understand why in the world we'd give away food. When we finally got him to understand that there are children who are very hungry and don't have macaroni and cheese and spaghettios to eat whenever they want like he does, he got the idea. So we told him we are buying food for the hungry people. He got into it and picked out a few things, like canned veggies and of course macaroni and cheese and spaghettios. After we got everything paid for, the kind people at Publix boxed it up for us. We then took it to the semi trailer waiting outside the store. That's right, there were about 20 participating grocery stores and empty semi trailers waiting to be filled right outside them. It really felt good to hand that food over and know someone, somewhere will have a full belly for at least a little while from the food that we purchased.

Some people don't want to contribute food or any other aid to the needy. Often those who are needy are categorized as "lazy", "good for nothing", or "unwilling to work". However, I have found in the past few months that this is largely untrue for the needy people today. Are there people who refuse to work and expect hand outs? Of course there are. But for the most part people are hungry due to circumstances beyond their control. Lost jobs, lost homes, lost cars, all victims of the economy. Furthermore, who am I to judge? Who am I to judge someone else? Don't I have enough to look at myself for?

There's another reason we gave on Sunday. It's because the Bible teaches us to be kind and loving to one another. It also teaches us to show our faith. What good is my faith in God if I keep it all packed into a little box and only pull it out on Sunday mornings at church? It's not. Often Christians are seen as prude, closed off people. That's not what our Lord did. After all, when there were 5,000 hungry people our Lord provided for them on the side of a mountain. He took 2 loaves of bread and 5 fish and made it enough for 5,000 people and then the disciples collected 12 baskets full of leftovers. You can read it straight from the Bible right here. What if the Lord wanted me to use my resources to bless someone else? Who am I to question where those items were going? We bought those items in the name of Jesus and I have absolute faith they will end up in the hands of the right person or family. We explained to Austin that we did that because we love others and that Jesus teaches us to help those in need. What a great experience for our family and an awesome teachable moment for our son.

When you click on my blog now, you can see that there are ads on my blog. I decided to do this after our experience this Sunday. 100% of the money that comes to me from these ads will go to benefit our local crisis pregnancy center. Since having Austin I have had a heart for women who find themselves alone, scared, broke, unsure, or in any kind of crisis while being pregnant. The women served there range from teenagers who made a mistake to married women who feel they can't afford another mouth to feed. If I ever get check from Google for the ads, I will post the amount I donated on my blog. Please feel free to ask me about it at anytime.

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