This was my first meal-packaging event. I met Holly and Travis at New Hope Community Church in Chula Vista, CA. Sarah, a woman who sets up meal-packaging events for COTN all across the San Diego, LA areas came down to help us. She brought the supplies and gave us a brief 2 minute training session and we were off and running.
We were a little ambitious with our goal. We had wanted to feed 5,000 kids. Each bag that we package costs $5 to put together and can feed 5 children. So, when you break it down, it’s only $1 to feed a child. The meals from this event are headed to Malawi, Africa. We only ended up packaging a little over 100 bags, but for the size and demographic of the event, we actually did pretty well.
Travis, Holly, and I had a great time teaching the kids how to fill the bags, telling them the rhyme “Lentils, Spice, Chicken, Rice”. At first the kids were just excited to do something hands on, but it was awesome to see how their faces lit up when we explained to them at the end that the one bag they made was going to feed 5 kids just like them in Africa. I remember one kid placing his meal bag in the shipping box and pulling on his fathers arm saying, “Dad, my bag is going to Africa!”
|Me, Holly, Travis|
Not going to lie, it was HOT! We were so thankful for the canopy tents that Holly’s mother had donated to us. (Although we need a little more practice in taking them down.) Holly and I even took a break to go dance with the children at the main stage.
Sometimes I get so caught up in what I’m doing, already being so engulfed in the purpose, that I forget how what we do touches people. I tend to think more about the children in the other countries more than the influence we have on the people right in front of our faces. God always seems to find a way to catch my attention and make sure I’m not forgetting any aspect of what I’m doing.
Throughout the day, people came up to us and simply donated money because they wanted to support us. I thought that was so cool since none of us were really sure how we would be accepted. We made up the meal packets to account for the donated money and packed things up.
I think we were one of the last vendors out of the lot. As we were putting the last of the supplies into the vehicles, someone came up and handed us a donation. She said that she made a special trip back because she wanted to make sure to donate. That really struck me. I often tend to downplay the things I do and assume that they aren’t that significant. But to see that what I am doing directly influences others is incredible and humbling.
I have always believed in the power of people yet, for some reason, don’t see the power in my ability to inspire. I have always wanted to, and I have always wondered why I had such a passion to ignite people into action but couldn’t quite figure out how. I look back at my journals throughout the years and see reoccurring entries about wanting to get through to people, wanting to share my passions with them, but constantly getting shut out and shut down.
In my head I’ve seen great battles being won, changes being made throughout the whole world, people joining together to serve and make a difference. I continually ask myself why it isn’t happening. Each person has the ability to do great things. Put them together and the outcome becomes greater. Five people sacrificing their lives for a greater purpose can start an office designed to help hundreds and thousands of children….
You know… 5 loafs fed 5,000.
The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. – C. S. Lewis