I have a lot of faith in God. Faith in humanity? Not so much. Over the years, I’ve grown callous to the schemes of man and tend to look for the hole in the story or hidden motive. Stories about the abuse of GoFundMe, people's stories that later prove to be false, have led me to take very little at face value. I question everything. Frankly, it is exhausting!
Recently, I had the opportunity to experience a Food in Action Tour with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) in El Salvador. FMSC has the goal of feeding the world by providing nutritious meals (MannaPacks) to people in underdeveloped nations and areas struck by disaster.
Having packed with FMSC on a number of occasions, I had this vision of boxed food leaving the warehouse in Minnesota, arriving via a plane, train or automobile in some remote village somewhere in another country and being handed out to a person in need. While I understood the FMSC goal of meeting basic needs first so spiritual needs could be met, I wondered if that ever really happened or was it just a way to hook us into another worthy cause.
I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a sustainable program. Did they really have the opportunity to share the gospel? How? Furthermore, would the recipients eventually have the resources to stand on their own?
Food in Action Tour Opened My Eyes
What I experienced on this tour was much more than I ever imagined! FMSC has established a network of partners around the world who work tirelessly to get this food into the hands of those who need it most. Even in countries struggling with issues like extortion and rising violence, 99% of FMSC food reaches its intended audience. Partners like Convoy of Hope and Loving with Mercy work intentionally to not only deliver food but also provide medical assistance, do developmental check-ups, provide jobs, food preparation and nutritional training, and they deliver a very strong gospel message that points people straight to Jesus. These partners are passionate about their calling and care deeply about those they serve.
We traveled to remote villages high in the hills and far off the beaten path. We were in areas where the animals roamed freely and where road was a very loose description. We visited orphanages, churches, and homeless shelters. Regardless of the destination, people rushed to meet our little bus. They were smiling, joy-filled, and eager to meet us. A language barrier was quickly broken through smiles, laughter, and charades in an attempt to communicate.
Our translators helped us pray with a woman who had recently lost her husband and was left alone to care for their 17 children in the remote village of Chiltiupan. We shared our hearts as we served a meal through a little church in the hillside community of Jicalapa and had an opportunity to color, face paint and play soccer with children. We learned about the workings of an orphanage in the heart of San Salvado from their director and abbess. We were even able to assist in providing a child development class to young mothers in the village of Guaymango.
In every situation, we witnessed opportunities being taken to share the truth of God’s love. Sometimes it was through an individual conversation, but we also saw corporate worship and a passionate telling of the gospel story. Those in attendance were captivated by what they heard and, though they had little in the way of material possessions, left me feeling like they were far richer than those of us who have so much.
FMSC Partnerships Bring True Transformation
These organizations provide a web of support enabling people to receive physical, emotional and spiritual assistance. We witnessed life transformation as a result of the efforts of FMSC and its partners. I saw people serving people and felt the connecting power of God’s love through the act of providing a simple meal. While seeing the mission of FMSC come full circle, my faith in humanity was restored.
All of us have an opportunity to serve locally and make an impact globally by partnering with Feed My Starving Children. To sign up to volunteer or donate to this very worthy organization, visit http://give.fmsc.org/southmetro. This organization works daily to live out its mission and to stay on task to reach its goal of seeing that all are fed.