Sunday, February 7, 2010

Feeding Hungry Haitianians Then Our Faces

We were such hypocrites yesterday. We spent a couple of hours in the afternoon helping out at a Kids Against Hunger Food Packaging event. Our family was in charge of the hospitality room which meant getting the snack table ready for hungry volunteers who were busy packing up emergency food for starving Haitians. Or as C called them the other day: Hitiacians. Guess he's heard his father say Houstonians before and just figured that's what you did with every city/nationality.

On the one hand, we were helping with an event that made 100,000 meals that will provide all the nutrition and protein an individual needs for an entire day while we made sure that compassionate, helping yet far from starving individuals had cold sodas, water bottles and organic cereal bars to ward off any signs of hunger.

It can be hard to rationalize all of our abundance while we think about sending off "rations" to those who have absolutely nothing. Realizing our responsibility as believers is to do our best to serve and help in any way, we can doesn't mean we must subject ourselves to a life of poverty or refusal of any "blessings."
The kids got to decorate the food bags and shipping boxes with messages of hope and prayers. Miss A wanted to make sure that we wrote her "name" on all the bags so they would know she was one who did the fabulous art work and was back in the states praying for them.

C hadn't been able to join us when we did another packaging event in October so he really enjoyed seeing how this works. He's already scheming to get his FCA group to sponsor a packaging event so he can get in on the action.
We talked about the joy those little pieces of artwork and words of encouragement would mean to the people in Haiti. How excited they would be to see the food come their way and how grateful they would be for it all. Gratitude that would overwhelm us. Gratitude that we would get for our generous gift, even though the real gift cost us so little time, money or resources; but to them would be extravagant. Gratitude that comes from knowing what it means to have little. From mothers and fathers just thrilled to have food to feed their children. Full tummies and happy smiles.

Having dinner out afterwards at a new restaurant in town, SmashBurger, my heart was torn. We were having so much fun together as a family enjoying a rare meal out at a restaurant. Laughing and giggling over silly things. We loved the place. Miss A said that they had the best Chicken Nuggets ever. Miss M loved their homemade buttermilk ranch dressing for dipping her fries. Mr. C made a mess of his face eating a huge Smash Burger Original with smash sauce. Yummo!! As for me and my husband, we had a great time just sitting in a booth watching the snow fall and knowing that our children's and our tummies were full. It's hard to rationalize our abundance and their huge needs for essentials.
However I realize how important these lessons of giving to others are for our family. How it really is a blessing to give a blessing. It fills up our souls. Laughing and giggling and hanging out with the family fills our souls and hearts with great memories and thanksgiving for our blessings.

Gratitude. Extravagant Gratitude for what we have and for the God who has given it all to us.

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