A world without hunger!
That is the vision of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
An ambitious vision of a world that reflects the new heavens and earth where there will be “no more hunger, no more thirst, no more scorching heat” (Rev 7:16). A vision that can quickly feel futile in a world where 690 million people do not enjoy the security of knowing they will have enough food to eat.
You probably know that millions of people do not have enough food today, are not sure what their families will eat tomorrow or see a point in the not-too-distant future where their food supply runs out. Most who face hunger live outside a typical Canadian church youth’s community and, mostly in other parts of the world.
Most of the youth with whom you work likely cannot relate to the fear, despair or resignation of chronic hunger and may never personally know someone facing this reality.
Is there any way to inspire them on an issue that they do not resonate with and feels too big for them to take on?
I think we can find an answer in the familiar story from chapter six of Mark’s gospel account. In this story, as day turned to evening, the disciples realized they were facing the overwhelming problem of thousands of people who were hungry.
They knew they did not have food to offer them, yet Jesus gives this surprising instruction. “You give them something to eat,” he said.
Then Jesus asks a simple question that is a great reminder for approaching overwhelmingly big problems.
“How many loaves do you have?”
Jesus always starts with what we have. He doesn’t ask us to do more than we can, only to use what we already have, no matter how great or small. The miracles happen when we put the resources we have in God’s hands and then follow instructions.
Just like the little boy in the story, young people can participate in working towards a world without hunger.
At the Foodgrains Bank we invite each person, no matter their age, to work with us by doing one or more of the following.
Everyone has something–time, money or talent-to add to joint efforts to end hunger. Putting what we have in God’s hands and following instructions multiplies our offerings more than we could ever imagine.
Every time you hear news of conflict or natural disaster remember that it means there are people going hungry. Lead youth to pray for refugees and people living through drought and conflict.
Follow the Foodgrains Bank podcasts and webinars on the Youth Workers’ Community site and download the Hunger for Justice, Learning and Reflection Guide for activities to bring the information alive for your youth group.
We all have a voice. We know that not everything that needs to be done to end world hunger can be done through The Church. The third session of the Hunger for Justice, Learning and Reflection Guide explores the biblical basis for why it is important to express our concern about hunger in the world and to ask that our values be reflected and represented in government policies and actions.
Since the Foodgrains bank started in 1983, our members have served millions of people by providing food during emergencies or supporting family efforts to provide food for themselves. No one person, congregation or organization can do this on their own, it is in working together, that so much is accomplished.
So, the next time someone from your youth group wonders what they can really do about world hunger, simply ask “What do you have that you can put in God’s hand”?
You should access the learning and reflection guide to help your youth ministry deepen their understanding of justice, poverty, and global hunger from a Christian perspective.
You can download the guide here: www.foodgrainsbank.ca/hunger-for-justice.
You can also the on demand webinar where you’ll be introduced to the work that Christian communities across Canada are doing through the Foodgrains Bank to support communities around the world who experience hunger. You’ll also receive a walkthrough of the learning and reflection guide for youth groups, which offers step-by-step ideas that you can use to inspire students to learn more about global hunger and help them process the practical steps they can take. Responding to hunger starts with giving, praying, learning, and advocating–all of which will be covered through this guide that you can use in your ministry starting this week.
Access the on demand webinar HERE.