What in the World Are We Doing?

This morning as I was praying, the Lord made it clear what I needed to share today.  It’s comforting to my soul when He does that.  He whispers and that to me, is the most unfathomable thing in my life.   So here’s what He said:

Do you know what today is?

Besides being Tuesday,
October 16th, 2012

it is:

World Food Day

A day where we are given the opportunity to think about millions of hungry people around the world.
Since He whispered it to me,
I have been praying most of the day about it and so many thoughts are whirling around….
but here’s the bottom line:

What are we each doing today {myself included} that will change the number of people hungry 
around the world tomorrow? 

See, knowing there are hungry people around the world, doesn’t change anything.
Feeling bad that there are hungry people around the world doesn’t change anything either.
Praying for the hungry people around the world is also not enough. 

Remember this verse:

“To whom much is given, much will be required.” 
Luke 12:48

Being ‘given’ much means we need to ‘give’ much out of what we’ve been given!

It is the very essence of the scriptures:  caring for the orphan, feeding the poor, giving to the needy.

Can you imagine if that verse had said, “To whom much is given, be sure to pray that somebody else will feel compelled to give out of their excess.”  

Not quite, right?

Think about it with me, will you?

We don’t like what’s in our fridge…so we head to the store for something more appetizing.
We don’t like the flavors of ice cream in the freezer so we buy more flavors….
We don’t like the temperature of our food, so we whine….

We don’t like the portions…so we ‘supersize’ it next time…
We don’t want “that” today, because we just had it ‘yesterday’.

We don’t like the taste so we try to perfect it…

And while we are focusing on food, over 15,000 young treasures,
 made in the image of Almighty God, will die a painful death of starvation today alone.

Like this little girl and her friend that I met on the streets of Kampala last year.  

They were propped against a building.

Sitting alone.

On one of the busiest streets in Kampala.

Her lifeless eyes are forever etched in my mind.
She and her little friend didn’t speak English.
But they understood that we had brought them some
 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
{Do you notice her friend’s arm? Just bones.}
He kept giggling when I gave them the food and water.
She was too weak to eat.  I helped her put the sandwich to her mouth.
Then I helped her sip from my bottle of water.
She was so weak.  So frail.  But eventually she smiled a tad.
Her face, her need, her lifeless eyes are why 
I am so passionate about our Frontlines+ Feeding program!
She is the face that compels me to do more!

And yet, while they sit starving on a street on the other side of the world, 
we can’t find something that we like in our fridge.
Or there aren’t any restaurants that “sound good” for dinner.
Or we don’t ‘feel’ like leftovers…
What in the world are we doing?
if you are a chef or a gourmet cook or your favorite television shows 
are all on the Food Channel, 
this is not about that.
You can be all of those and do all of that,
it’s okay, 
the bottom line is still:  
What are we each doing today for the over 15,000 children that are starving to death today alone?
What are we doing tomorrow for the over 15,000 children that will starve to death tomorrow?
What are we doing the day after tomorrow for the starving children that will die that day?
“Whoooa, Linny” you might say.
You’re right friends, I’m passionate about it all.  
I have looked into the eyes of starving children.
I have held starving babies.
I have witnessed the panic of kids who have come to a feeding program 
and the program is running out of supplies…
I can’t pretend I didn’t see it.
Almighty God is watching.
He sees it all.
He knows I saw it
and yes, He knows we know.
His love compels me to challenge those around me.
We have to do more!

I will never forget sitting next to a youngster at a gathering of moms and kids a few years back.
The little boy sitting next to me was about five years old and he went on and on
pitching a hissy fit because he didn’t want the ham and cheese sandwich his mom had brought him for lunch.   I had to get up and move.  I couldn’t take it anymore.

Shame on us western world!!

“To whom much has been given, much will be required.” 
Luke 12:48

But no doubt, many wonder: 
What can we do? 
Can we really make a difference from our little corner of the world?

You betcha
Together we can make a BIG DIFFERENCE

Here’s one idea:

 Today, for lunch, all of us ate with our hands our beans and rice.  We talked about kids {just like our little treasures} around the world who have nothing to eat today.

Several of our kids remember being very hungry.  One remembers eating dirt outside the orphanage because he was so hungry.  Several of them remember older kids at their orphanages taking their food from them.  It was actually a very emotional, teary discussion.     

Then the money that we would’ve spent to eat something more “American” we donate to the Frontlines+ Feeding program, which feeds street orphans in Kampala.   {No doubt, there are many other reputable feeding programs run by many different organizations – pick one!}

Can we really make a difference?

We can!!!

Each from our little corner of the world –

Think about it –

For instance, since January 2012, Frontlines Feeding+ program has fed approximately 14,960 meals to street kids in Kampala – and we are have just been getting going!

These orphaned street treasures are being fed because normal, everyday people around the world donate a bit here, a bit there…and now, 10 months later we have fed 14,960 meals!

All praise to Almighty God!

As we promised at the inception of International Voice of the Orphan
100% of the Frontlines+ Feeding program donation proceeds goes directly to feed the kids.    

But what else can we do?
Talk to your friends.
Have a dinner, invite your friends and serve a meal of beans and rice and then eat with your hands.
{We are going to do this!}
Talk about the hunger around the world.
Ask your friends if they would want to help feed a child for a year?
{IVO Frontlines+ Feeding Program spends approximately $1.00/ for every three meals fed.}
Decide today to change the way you look at food.
Make a decision to eat beans and rice regularly
{with the money saved going to feed a child for a week or a month or a year.}
Can we really make a difference?
Together – we can!
{more ideas soon!}
“To whom much has been given much will be required.”
Luke 12:48 

And I was thinking….
if you are interested….
invite some friends or family…
have a beans and rice meal and donate the money to a Frontlines+ Feeding program
 and send a picture to:
we will post it to the IVO blog in an upcoming blog post…

We can’t pretend we don’t know about the 15,000 kids today or tomorrow or the next day.
We have to do something.
Starting today.
Together we can make a difference!

30 thoughts on “What in the World Are We Doing?

  1. Linny so glad you posted this as we all need to be reminded how blessed we are and the purpose for being blessed is to bless others.

    I would love to put a link in my post to this post- would you mind. You did such a great job and I would love to share this with my blog readers.

    bee blessed

    1. You are always welcome to share. May others be convicted {as I am} that it is our privilege and responsibility to care for the 15,000+ children starving to death today around the world.

  2. Linny. I'm so glad you posted this. Do not apologize. We need to see and hear every story. I am so grateful to know you and have a tiny part in this journey. God is doing amazing work through your passion and I love watching.

    1. Thank you Courtney, You are a beautiful demonstration of serving the orphan by feeding them! Bless you my sweet friend and may Almighty God continue to bless your much needed business! xo

  3. Thank you for this. I just informed our daughter we would be taking a picnic to church Wednesdays instead of eating out since we need to cut back some costs. Even when income goes back up, I would like to take this money we were spending and re-direct it to the hungry. I will talk with my young children about this real need. Thank you again.

  4. Linny, I have recently been reminded of how fortunate we are to have so much food available at our fingertips. Have you heard of the Why Care Campaign? It was started by some students and taken up by Universities Fighting World Hunger as a way to raise awareness for hunger in America and around the world. All they ask for is a picture of you or your family with a statement about why you care about abolishing world hunger. https://www.facebook.com/whycarecampaign?fref=ts

    1. Well if I cared what people thought I should have quit writing a long time ago. {haha}

      Surprisingly though {or maybe not surprising} I really think there are many people out {maybe even more young people than one would think} there who want to have their lives challenged with the truth of God's word.

      The scary part for me is that there are "teachers" who are challenging life, but not necessarily in light of God's word. Saying 'nice things' but not really scriptural. A Bible teacher should never be afraid to have what they have taught held up to the light of His Holy word. Because His will and ways never, ever, ever contradict scripture. Not.ever. Not even once.

      Bless you Tobi and thank you for the encouraging words!

  5. This month our church is doing a Hunger Challenge. This week we are addressing global hunger and so this is our rice and beans week. Everyone is challenged to eat rice and beans 3 meals/day for a week and contribute the $$ that you did not spend on food this week to Kids Against Hunger. Friday night, our family is part of packaging meals for Kids Against Hunger with hundreds of other families from our church. Next week we focus on national hunger and our families are encouraged to eat on a food stamp budget, and again donate to Kids Against Hunger. The goal is to make and send nearly 500,000 meals. As a church, we supply over 60% of the food for the Indianapolis food pantries. The church has also started a food pantry (with a fridge and freezer) and continue to contribute to the food pantries at the same level that we did before. For the 3rd week, we are focusing on hunger at the local level and so everyone is asked to fill the "green bags" (that the church always has hanging near the doors) and the service projects for that week include bag distribution in all neighborhoods, collection, and sorting. Last year, we collected 9 semis worth of food for local ministries. The final week is focused on prayer.

    My daughter (8, from China) is very focused on the Hunger Challenge and concerned about others. As missionaries, we have traveled extensively all over the world and this makes a lot more sense to her than others. She really "gets" why we are eating rice and beans and it has really been amazing to see her prayer life this week as she focuses on others. We live in a VERY affluent community and my husband works at our church. We are not strangers to rice and beans, but it has been so insightful to listen to others and the struggles that they are having with the challenge. Our church is so aware of the fact that we are in the the top 25 richest counties in the nation, yet we have a very large, growing population of people living in poverty. I am so thankful that we are focusing on the needs of others and having the opportunity to share Christ with them in a very tangible way.

    Please pray that we would be able to make a significant impact on the needs of the people globally and locally as a body of believers.


  6. Thank you for this post, Linny. I will share it with my children this morning.

    I do hope we don't just feel sad or decide to be more thankful for what we have…we need to have less and help more for sure and for certain!

    Since Sunday, November 4th is Orphan Sunday, our Orphan Care Ministry at church will be participating in the Orphan's Table (http://orphansunday.org/orphans-table/) which is a simple meal of grains similar to food provided to orphans worldwide. You can order ready-made packages of grains that just need to be boiled. A a prayer guide is also included. May our hearts be changed as we experience, in a small way, what others experience everyday.

    I love the immediate opportunity to donate through Frontlines Feeding program. May the Lord continue to bless your ministry. To God be the glory!

  7. Ok…I chuckled…literally…I was going to ask if I could share this. This thing is gonna snowball! Love it! It so fits for what God has been speaking to us in the past few years…simplify!

  8. Linny, I just got back from Uganda and my life has been forever changed! Luke 12:48 was the verse that came to my mind for the whole time I was there! Not only is my heart forever changed and moved for the orphans around the world, but also those right here in my own city.Little ones who need to know that they are loved by others and most of all by God.
    I am still wrapping my head around everything I saw and witnessed. My family did not go with me so it is even harder to explain it to them!
    Thanks for this post. As a result we are having rice and beans for dinner tonight and atleast once a week from now on!!

  9. Linny, I have a question about adopting an orphan in prayer.
    I've tried several times, but I can't register. I live in
    the Netherlands and when I type my pastors name and click on
    'join' the message is: pastor not entered. I also have no
    website/blog. I would gladly adopt an orphan in prayer. I am
    to young (just 17) to adopt but God has called me to adopt one
    day. But for now I like to adopt in prayer en join in in this
    way of serving.
    Thank you for your blog. Many times it has spoken to my heart.

  10. Did the rice and beans for lunch today… and had some super discussion… We are having a Bread for Life table (stealing from Robin:):) on Orphan Sunday and plan to take that money with us in January when we go with DW to feed those kids or care for them in some other way that is needed. Thank you so much for sharing Linny… I love how God uses your words and the Holy Spirit just pricks our minds to do something… Praying for you all!

  11. I love this idea! What a great reminder of all we have! Our church (I'm LDS) does something similar monthly. It's part of their welfare program. The first Sunday of the month is "Fast Sunday." The young men then go to each house in the area and gather "Fast Offerings" (the money you would have spent on the meals for that day.) This money is used for those in need. Thanks for the post!

    1. here's just a suggestion…even on government assistance there are still ways to do something. Like taking the food that was you have been given through govt assistance and having a bake sale…using the funds raised to feed someone who has no govt assistance but relies on feeding programs around the world..? Even the smallest gift of $5.00 feeds 15 meals through our program for instance. Just $5.00 can feed 15 meals! And any bake sale usually raises more than $5.00!

      Of course there are tons of other programs that feed the hungry. Pick one! Do something. Don't let anything stop you. I guarantee any one on govt assistance in the US has more food than the little girl on the street in the post above. She had nothing. She was dying of starvation.

      There are plenty of ideas, even for someone on govt assistance. The thing to remember is that 15,000+ children will die today from no food. And tomorrow 15,000 more will die, and the next day and the next day. We ALL can do something.

  12. Another great way to help the hungry is to change your shopping habits! Start buying fair trade chocolate bars, coffee and hot chocolate.

    Did you know that trafficked children work on the West African cocoa farms that provide chocolate to Hershey's and Nestle? How sad to think our Halloween candy is produced by child slave labor! http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2012/10/the-inconvenient-truth-about-your.html

    You can buy fair trade baking cocoa, hot chocolate and coffee at http://www.equalexchange.coop/. If you spend $75, you get free shipping.

    1. !
      I really hate responding when you can't hear my voice…but here's my thoughts sent with love…

      Fair trade is a great suggestion. Thank you….the readers can read it and think about it as well….

      Of course, thinking of the little girl in the above post, whose eyes I looked into, I'm just wondering…do we even need to have a candy giveaway at the end of October? Do my children or anyone elses need a bag full of candy that destroys their immune system and rots their teeth?

      We would all be better off not eating the candy at all! I know people could argue – "No Halloween? It's part of being a kid – it's expected! We have to!" But what if we denied ourselves and gave the money spent on Fair Trade or any candy anywhere and used it to feed kids around the world?

      "To whom much is given, much will be required."

      Meditating on that verse compels our family to skip Halloween altogether, which we have done for the last 30 years. In fact all of our grown children are 'normal' and seem to have not suffered any ill effects from not doing it. =)

      Why should we eat candy when little girls and boys around the world have not one drop of anything to eat? Speaking of "Fair" it doesn't seem fair to me to think of kids indulging on junk when that little girl starves to death.

      Imagine if people skipped it altogether and gave it away to an organization of their choice to feed hungry people around the world?? Just imagine!

      Surely not the popular idea, but Christ's teaching weren't about popularity. They were about loving Him most and loving others.

      My kids skipping candy, littles on the other side of the world eating…that's what really a "fair trade"!

    2. Hi Linny,

      Thanks for your great thoughts. I completely understand. My thinking is that buying Fair Trade provides a decent-paying job for someone. By paying a little more for a product, I am helping farmers feed their kids.

      Thank you for your post today! It was very good to be reminded of this.

  13. I thought this was so powerful, thank you for the reminder that yes, we have so much. And with that comes great responsibility. We're doing beans and rice tonight and my daughter's been asking questions about how the majority of the world eats. It's a great way to donate but also keep things in perspective on our end. Thanks for posting!

    1. Exactly. Perspective. Unless we practice it in our home, we are merely just 'yakking' and not really able to tangibly see for ourselves what it means. Of course, in our home, several do remember being hungry and not having food. Another was in a foster home in their homeland, but clearly, they were starved there. 8 years old and 26 pounds when they arrived. Three year olds weigh 26 pounds easily. So bravo for eating beans and rice tonight. Go girlfriend! And show pictures, discuss. Do it often!

  14. Our family did the rice and beans meal every Sunday for about a year – after my first visit to Uganda.
    It was cool and especially wonderful to give the amount saved for the hungry! I can only recommend it.
    We changed to lentils and beans after a while, as my hubby could not digest beans very well.
    After a little over a year, nobody touched the rice and beans/lentils anymore – and I stopped making them.
    Looking for another way to do this now…

  15. Thank you Linny. I admit to at one time having no clue or care about people who had less than me. I am not proud of that fact, but once you know … you are responsible to act and I think as you to share with others so hopefully they will act upon the need.

    We have had beans and rice night from time to time, but we have been saying we need to do it weekly. DH even wants to do it for 30 days straight for our evening meal. We have a couple of kids who can be so picky and ridiculous on the food served (if they don't "like" it). We have never encouraged this though, and haven't offered replacements and have made it known we don't approve of this.

    I think it is just so hard to oppose this thinking when we are inundated with it in America, and so are our children. I even said at our core group at an interdenominational Bible study I attend on Friday mornings in answer to the question "what world problem do you think God wants us to pray about?" And I said "the self-absorption of the Christian church in America." WEll, let's just say, it fell flat and I think might have even offended some in the small group. I tried to explain further why I said it, but no one seemed to get it or at least didn't want to admit it.

    I once heard that the Christian church in America holds 90% of Christian wealth in the world. I wish I could find the source, but I have no trouble believing it is true. I know whatever the percentage is, I wonder if this is what God intended? For one country who professes to be Christian to hold so much of it so close rather than to share it?

  16. Linny, admitted Halloween partaker here. The kids dress up with something in our box of dress-up stuff, we got to about 10 houses and come home and trade. But, I have said for years that the church fall festival's really baffle me, including the one at our home church. Why do we even need to do it??? The staff spins it as an outreach, but really? The US spends billions of dollars on candy for Halloween! That is crazy. I wanted to skip it this year, and almost succeeded, but for all of the video ads being sent to our kids on Sunday mornings at church. Sigh

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