Years ago I flew overseas on a mission trip and the guy on the end of my row was really upset when the movie system showing movies on the seat in front of him went out. We had 4 hours left in our flight and had already spent many hours on a plane and everyone was tired. I began to get aggravated as well (OK…that’s a gross understatement LOL) and then I thought, “Susan, you’re flying across the ocean, tens of thousands of feet in the air and it’s taking HOURS and not DAYS or weeks to get to Kenya, Africa. Be amazed by the miracle you are experiencing and not exasperated by bumps in the road in your journey, focus on the mission.” and then I said a prayer of thanks for the journey.
A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in thier mission can alter the course of history. Mahatma Gandhi
Forever Fed interfaces with many children in dire need and the Executive Director (me) is losing sleep. As we regularly interface with these kids we are discovering real needs they experience each day, one of which is food. Some arrive to programs we support having either not eaten OR they are returning home from our events to empty pantries. Our volunteers and leadership tell me they’ve seen some children stuff food in their pockets to take home because their siblings did not get a dinner. The brutal reality is–for some school children, the only meals they receive are the subsidized meals they receive at school. And worse than that, some of the hardest hit families suffering from food instability are actually members of the “working class poor” and their kids don’t qualify for subsidized school meals because they are not poor enough. While Forever Fed sends our plentiful left-overs home with the kids after events, our efforts are just a small drop in their huge bucket of need. The Executive Director in me thinks it’s time to be intentional about meeting this need but the realist in me is a bit anxious.
Last Friday I had a meeting with a great group of folks who are praying about partnering with us to launch a food backpack program for some of the children we serve at Forever Fed events. A few states like Arkansas have successful programs in schools sending backpacks filled with food home on weekends with their neediest students to supplement their food supply at home. The kids return the backpack to school on Monday and it’s filled again for distribution on the following Friday. How easy is that?
Forever Fed would love to start a backpack food program, on a small scale, to support the neediest children we serve who are attending programs we already support. Following our meeting on Friday this team of leaders promised to pray for discernment of God’s will. As I’m praying for discernment and throwing my anxious worries and concerns onto the shoulders of Jesus and listing the many reasons this backpack program could become a monumental job, my prayers came to a screeching halt.
Why am I not praying with excitement? I’m talking and making a request of My Creator, the God from Everlasting to Everlasting. I am praying a request of the God who created the Earth, the God that put a man on the moon, the God who sent His son to die on a cross so that we might live. Surely a few backpacks filled with food is a simple task for the Almighty God. I’ve started praying with excitement that His will be done.
Anxiety and fear knocked at the door and faith answered. Forever Fed is excited about the journey we began 2.5 years ago and we look forward to watching God’s plan unfold during this time of prayer and discernment for a backpack program. Each week Forever Fed is on the road bringing food to those in need and empowering volunteers to be the hands and feet of Christ is an awesome thing to behold, it is a miracle. The largest miracle we’ve seen is witnessing how the efforts of many are bearing fruit in the neighborhoods we are fostering. This is an exciting time. Please join with us in praying for discernment in an attitude of joy and thanksgiving. Let’s change the world together, through prayer.
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”