Am I proud?
Do you have excess food?
Are we living in prosperous ease?
Years ago, while sitting in course on a biblical response to poverty we read from Ezekiel 16: 49 (ESV) “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”
I couldn’t move past that verse. I’d always given to charities, spent most of my career working within the not-for-profit sector. I tried to keep change and small bills to hand out to people when asked.
Yet I knew this was me. I was as guilty as Sodom.
My cupboards and fridge were never empty. I lived comfortably. I was proud of where I was in my life.
Sure, I couldn’t buy everything I wanted or easily vacation wherever I dreamed – but why should I be able to? Especially when there are so many people that can’t buy something as necessary as food.
It was time to change. I don’t know about you, but for me, change is often a journey.
At the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, we’re on a mission of working to end global hunger. And the journey of support asks people to give, pray, learn and advocate. Caring for people who are living in poverty and supporting them requires all of the above, but it’s a journey. The important thing is to start somewhere.
As part of our mission, we invite people to give money, time and effort, because as followers of Christ, it is part of our obedience. And everyone knows that it helps. Even a little can make a huge difference for someone facing hunger.
We pray, so that our giving is done from a heart for God, not just a toss away action to help us feel better. Personally, prayer helps guide me for where I should be giving and where my focus should be. And when I pray, my heart is often softened and changed for people I might not always think of – isn’t yours?
And as our hearts are changed – learning is a logical next step.
Gaining a deeper understanding of why people live without being able to regularly access food can be startling and provide new perspectives about how I live my life. It helps me from becoming at ease with my prosperity. It’s not looking at those around me with their fancy cars and saying ‘I don’t have that,’ instead it’s looking at those with empty cupboards and saying ‘I can serve/give/do more’.
But as we learn, we come to realize that the broken and unjust systems call for more. So we advocate. We use whatever influence we have, and we become the widow before the judge in Luke 18:1-8 asking for righteousness. And if enough of us knock consistently, some things will change.
It’s a holistic journey… and isn’t that what so many of your youth are looking for?
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is working with the Youth Worker Community so that you can have a better idea of how learning, praying, giving, and advocating are all important for a world without hunger. If you want to go further, and we hope that you do, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank has created a learning and reflection resource for youth groups called Hunger for Justice. It is designed for leaders to help youth groups deepen their understanding of justice, poverty and global hunger from a Christian perspective.
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 sign up for on demand access to our 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 recording HERE.