i look at his chubby little hands doing the "more" sign as fast as he possibly can (i honestly think he might give himself blisters some days) as his mouth is full of food like a little chipmunk. he eats more than i do, seriously. and when it's time to stop, the poor little guy cries every time. of course i hate it when he cries, but i know in my heart that he has had enough and that he'll have more in just a few hours. but can you imagine what it must be like for the mother who has a hungry child and simply has nothing to give him? and doesn't know when she will have anything to give him? it breaks my heart just thinking about it.
today in church, pastor phil stern shared a video with us about "feed the forgotten", a ministry that he is part of that provides food for lepers in india. there are between 2-3 million lepers in the world and the largest part of them are in india. these people have been excluded from the rest of society and been completely forgotten - basically left to die. "feed the forgotten" brings meals to these leper villages and ministers to the lepers. they love on them and share the love of jesus with them. i knew immediately that God had been preparing my heart to give to this ministry. this is the poem that pastor phil wrote after visiting the leper villages in india:
"see their faces wrinkled deepfilled with pain, sorrow and grief.limbs distorted, broken downbodies frail beat to the ground.yet in their eyes was hope sincere,a smile of life from ear to ear.someone's come to dry my tears,their touch will help dispell my fears.not with much in eyes of man,some food, some love and a touching handyet to the one who i love the most,i met that day in the eyes of these.i heard a voice so sharp and deep,say will you go be my hands, my feet."feed the forgotten" and then you will seeif you've done it to the least of these,you've done it unto me."-pastor phil stern
i knew that God was calling me to give to this minstry and the thought popped into my mind - "i can't afford to give enough to make a difference". immediately i was reminded of a verse michael brought to my attention yesterday. many of us know the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. we've learned about it as kids and read it a hundred times, but one little verse stuck out to michael; and i had never paid much attention to it before. Jesus asks his disciples where they will find enough food to feed the people and one of them speaks up and says "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will that go among so many?" (John 6:9 NIV ). here is a boy who has seemingly nothing to offer. what good will 5 loaves and 2 fish do in a crowd so big? maybe feed a couple people? but that doesn't discourage him from offering it up. and look what happened - they all had enough to eat and there were leftovers! (John 6:12-13 NIV)
God can do amazing things when we are willing to just offer what we've got. every little bit helps. in fact, "feed the forgotten" can feed one person for an entire month with just $2.50! who doesn't have an extra $2.50 laying around. skip your starbucks one morning and feed someone for a whole month. i encourage you to check out http://www.feedtheforgotten.com/ and pray about it. God is calling all of us to "be his hands and feet"- maybe he's calling you to feed the forgotten as well.