Can I be totally, brutally honest with you for a moment?
I grew up in church and then spent most of my college years in Chi Alpha. Between those two things, I attended what seemed like one thousand retreats, camps, breakaways, whatever you want to call them. At each one, there was usually some sort of window for a compassion cause: a video of a hungry child, pictures of young people my age living in abject poverty, and the list could go on and on.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t lack compassion (my “2” Enneagram is clear on that!). I tend to feel things very deeply, and I believe God absolutely calls Christians to play a role in caring for His children in need. But for some reason, the majority of the time I heard a presentation or offering for a compassion-based ministry, my thoughts went something like this:
“Oh, what they’re doing to help people is so awesome. But I already give to x, y, and z. I’ll put a couple dollars in this offering to make myself feel better, but there’s no way I can do more or partner with them every month like they are challenging us to do! Maybe one day I will be a regular partner. But for now, I’m in college.”
Can you relate? I’m embarrassed to say I have thought that way, but I warned you I was going to be brutally honest! Now, I totally believe that we are to be wise stewards of our finances, and that God does lay specific causes or ministries on our hearts to partner with sometimes. But for me, it wasn’t about these things—rather, it was a heart issue.
This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to El Salvador with Convoy of Hope’s feedONE program. One afternoon, I stood on a dirt floor of a small, simple home belonging to a mother with three young children. She beamed with pride as she pointed to a pen of chickens that resided in her kitchen. Yes, you read that right: the chickens were in her kitchen.
These were chickens she had received through Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program, which she could raise and sell to provide for her family—chickens that, through this program, put her into contact with Christian professionals who could share the Gospel with her and educate her on topics like nutrition, hygiene, and literacy to help better her and her children’s lives. The chickens were made possible because someone gave.
In a single moment by a single face, my years of apathy towards compassion ministries were broken and my heart was changed.
When you give $10 a month to feed a child through feedONE, you aren’t just filling a belly with food; you are filling a soul with hope and a heaven with people for all of eternity. You are also providing opportunities for mothers of many of these children, as well as other women, to hear of Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment Program where they can receive training to start a microbusiness (like chickens!) and have the chance to be part of a mother’s club where they can learn life and parenting skills, experience an uplifting community, and hear the Gospel.
In this feedONE month and always, let us steal away a few moments to prayerfully pause and ask Jesus our part in this mission. He could feed children all on His own, but He invites us to be a part. What a privilege! How will we respond?
All views expressed on this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.