As homeschoolers, we are always looking for service projects and out of the box lessons for our children.
Recently, I was thrilled when I saw the church announcement asking us to sign up for a Stop Hunger Now Meal Packing Event.
So today, we had one of those non-traditional homeschool lessons. We took our recent lesson on hunger a step further. Some people might think that is too deep for young children, but we don't. This issue is near and dear to our heart especially since a sweet friend of ours just welcomed a 10lb 6 oz, nine year old girl into their family as their forever daughter! No, that is not a typo. It is exactly what precious Katie weighed at 9.5 years old.
Hunger. Nine and a half years of it. I can't imagine.
Tonight, we served alongside our girls at our church. First, our normal Wednesday night church meal was replaced with a meal that cost a quarter each. We had beans, rice and cornbread instead of our usual fare.
Our children ate it willingly but said that they can't imagine eating it everyday. They found out that this food was a greatly treasured meal for others that are just happy to see food.
Can you, as an American, imagine? I confess, I often look through a full pantry and don't see something I *want.* I can't imagine looking through an empty pantry with four little mouths standing nearby, hoping for anything to eat. Oh Lord, please forgive me!
After our meal, we went to the gym, and donned red hair nets. This was a bit of comedic relief. Brandon had a friend snap the picture at the beginning of this blog so we could remember today always.
Both girls were able to work at our station with us. In fact, we borrowed two other kiddos to make a full team. I think we had the largest adult to child ratio, but that is okay! We believe that many hands make light work and that little hands are capable too! ;)
It was an assembly line. I opened the bottom end of the ziplock bag, Julianne put in a vitamin packet, Brandon put it at the bottom of a large funnel, Micah (a child we borrowed) poured in the dried vegetables, Lainey poured in soy protein, Kinsley (another borrowed child) poured in rice, Brandon removed the bag and stood it up in a bin. When we had four bags completed, Pam ran the bin to teens from our youth program and they weighed the bags and adjusted as necessary and then adults across the table from them, sealed the bags with a heat sealer.
Every now and then a gong would sound and we would stop and cheer. Brandon and I brought clappers and noisemakers and were told several times that our team had the most team spirit.
About 500 volunteers (5 years old and up) packed 40,000 meals in about an hour and a half.
YES! FORTY THOUSAND!!!
The meals we packed will be combined with the meals that other churches are packing and then they will be sent overseas. I believe we were told that 280,000 meals are sent at a time. And at that time, we'll find out what country they are going to and which ministry will be distributing them.
Most of the meals go to schools, orphanages and disaster relief. The meals have a shelf life of 3 years.
We've already started praying for our meal recipients. I can't wait to do a little study on whichever country they end up going to. We'll find out as soon as they get to 280,000.
On the way home, the girls were pumped! They loved helping others. They thought about how they have never missed a meal in their lives.
A valuable lesson was learned tonight. And it didn't come from a workbook. It was real and present in their life and created life long memories. I'm so thankful that we had the opportunity to do this and can't wait to see where else God can use us.
PS: Xander's neurology appointment is tomorrow at 2pm. Please be in prayer for us. All the children will be attending because we were unable to attain childcare. Please pray specifically that we will have ample time with the doctor to have our questions answered and that our children will sit quietly during the appointment.