“When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:12-13)
Some quick facts about world hunger:
● Approximately 792.5 million people in the world do not get the food they need to live a healthy life. That’s nearly one out of every nine people on earth, with 98% of those living in developing nations. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, one in every four people are hungry.
● Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
● Nearly 50 percent of people living in extreme poverty are 18 years old or younger, and poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.
● 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone. The poorest 20 percent of the world’s children are about twice as likely as the richest 20 percent to be stunted by poor nutrition and to die before their fifth birthday.
[--Sources cited at the “Stop Hunger Now” website]
These figures regarding world hunger are alarming. Thankfully, our world today possesses the science and technology to properly address this dilemma, if we will but choose to do so. That’s why I’m pleased to invite you to participate in a new ministry hosted by our church called “Stop Hunger Now,” a world-wide interfaith initiative begun in 1998 by a United Methodist pastor and designed to help people in developed communities like our own combat hunger and starvation in developing communities around the world.
This coming Sunday (November 13) from 9:30-11:30am in the MMC, we’ll be packing 12,000 meals (2000 packets x 6 meals per packet). We’ll begin in the Chapel at 9:00am with a short worship celebration, then at 9:20am move into the Fellowship Hall to continue “worship-in-action” through the packing event, which will provide a service great opportunity for appropriate for children, youth, college students, and adults.
Though the event itself will serve in place of both our two early morning worship services and most of our church’s Sunday School classes, our 11am service will take place as usual in the Sanctuary. Also, while this is the first time our church has sponsored this event, some of you may already be familiar with it from previous events hosted both by LaGrange College and by other area churches.
Remember, Jesus fed over 5000 with the simple offering of one little boy’s lunch. On November 13, we’ll be preparing meals to feed even more than that! Perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind when he spoke the words of John 14:12-14, “whoever believes in me will do even greater works than these [that I do].”
So, dress casually and join us at 9:00am in the Chapel on November 13th as we seek to “stop hunger now” in the name of Jesus! And don’t forget that God loves you and I do, too!
[P.S., to find out more about this initiative, visit their website HERE]