Feed My Starving Children

Maddie and I had an incredible experience last night, one that I think impacted both of us significantly. We volunteered at a "Feed My Starving Children" site and helped pack thousands of nutritional pouches of chicken powder, dehydrated veggies, soy, and rice, to feed starving children around the world. Did you know that 18,000 children die EVERY day due to starvation? 18,000. Deep breath. Can that possibly be? Staggering. As we sat through our introductory session, watching a video (you can watch it here) I sat with tears streaming down my face. How can this be? 18,000 a day? That's 18,000 little Jacksons or little Maddies that are dying every day, simply because they do not have food. That should not be!

After the video clip, they showed a picture of a little 8-year-old boy that weighed 19 pounds. Sweet Omar was his name. (view his picture) Yes, only 19 pounds at 8 years old. (To give some perspective, Jackson was basically 10 pounds at birth.) I began to cry openly - it was so heart-wrenching. How is this possible that we, in America, throw out food EVERY DAY, and there are sweet, precious children around the globe that starve-to-death EVERY DAY. I'm not sure why this touched me so profoundly last night, as I have experienced starving children first-hand in Irian, and have known of the global-wide epidemic, but I think God was stirring my heart last night to take action instead of simply being deeply saddened but letting others take action in my place. One person CAN make a significant impact. If God stirs your heart, you need to act!

Back to Omar. When he got his first pouch of food he weighed 19 pounds. And here he is 2 months later at 40 pounds (Omar). It was absolutely astonishing the difference that these nutritional pouches made in the life of this one frail boy. And to think this organization is replicating this over and over and over again, throughout the world. FANTASTIC.

We spent an hour and a half dancing to fun music, while working as teams to pack these pouches. Our big group total was around 25,000 pouches. What a rich way to spend an hour and a half - less than the time Jackson naps each day! I was so proud of Maddie. She jumped in, worked hard, and from time-to-time, I'd look over to her table beside me, and see her making the grown-ups laugh with her antics. When the food was packed, she then found the 'wet-wipes' lady and faithfully scurried around the ENTIRE warehouse, wiping every stationary object. (A dream for her to have full reign of a tub of wet wipes). As we left the building, we were given a sample of the cooked pouch we had just assembled and Maddie and I both commented on the fact that it was delicious. "I would eat that if I was starving!" Maddie stated.

We arrived, not really knowing the impact these two short hours would have on us, but left, knowing exactly the profound impact it had on our hearts. We WILL be back helping again soon. (This Minnesota-based organization has just opened an office in Aurora, with openings to drop in and serve.) We both have a broader awareness and a bigger heart for a staggering problem that MOST of the world faces daily. We WILL be giving financially toward this effort. Maddie has already said that when her Grandpa Clark gives her birthday money, she is going to give some of it to the starving children. We WILL be putting a jar in our kitchen that will save our spare change, and the money we find on the sidewalks on our daily adventures, because, as Maddie said, "17 cents really is NOT a lot of money, Mommy. We can give that every day."

(As an aside, Maddie just popped out of her bedroom during her rest time and said, out of the blue, "Mommy, how many children did they say die every day? It's on her heart, too. She had no idea that I was blogging about that very thing!)

I was touched by these two verses and am going to put them up on 3x5 cards in our home:

"Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me." Jesus in Matthew 25:40

"Blessed are they who are generous, because they feed the poor." Proverbs 22:9

A big thank you to my friend, Katy, who let me know about this life-changing opportunity. I thought I'd pass along the website, so that you, too, could join in this effort if it tugs at your heart. (Click here for the link to Feed My Starving Children)


Jill said…
Alysa - Between your's and Alice's posts today I am an emotional wreck! Thanks for sharing this story - I want to tell you how awesome it is that you are exposing Maddie to these great opportunities to "serve". I need to do more of that with my girls --thanks for "leading by example" and encouraging others to do the same!
Alice said…
Awesome. We will now be doing that this summer! Thanks so much for this info. It's so cool that we are on the same page with teaching our kids that everyone in the world does not have what they have...and more importantly, we can DO something about it! Thank you for highlighting this organization!
lizwiththree said…
you are so amazing. i can't wait to get a group together to do this amazing work all for the children of God. thank you soooo much for sharing and caring.

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