Because they arrived first

Moving day.

We’ve all been there before.  Boxes, packing tape, storage units and sore muscles.  I’ve been asked to help others move more times than I care to remember.  However, if I’m available, I graciously volunteer to help.  I know that someday I too will need to move and would appreciate the “muscle support” of my friends and family.

In my experience, typical moving situations involve showing up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday with your gloves, a water bottle and finding your friend (and their belongings) in disarray.  Lamps, books and boxes are scattered through the house and you can barely walk through the living room.  Clearly this person wants to bless their friends by allowing them to participate in “every” aspect of the moving process.  This is what I call the “starting from scratch” moving strategy.  In surveying the chaos, you cancel your evening plans knowing that you are going to be here for a while.

Mercy on moving day

Almost like drops of mercy from heaven, every once in a while, you arrive on moving day to find neatly organized stacks of packed, taped and labeled boxes.  There are cold water bottles in a cooler and finger foods galore to satisfy the hunger pains of the moving crew.  At first, the scene almost looks like a mirage.  Sure, there is still work to do – those boxes aren’t going to grow feet and walk into the U-Haul truck – but a great foundation has been laid, making the work more manageable.

For Food for the Hungry (FH), these “drops of mercy from heaven” is the local church.

Pictures of Pastors and churches from around the world

When FH arrives to serve and support a vulnerable community, in many cases, we are not the first to arrive.  By the grace of God and through the tireless sacrifice of missionaries and national pastors, the Gospel has arrived and a local church has been planted in this remote part of the world. In many respects, this is the equivalent of the glorious sight of “packed, organized and labeled boxes” on moving day!

A beautiful foundation

Rather than FH having to start from scratch in sharing a biblical worldview, we can work alongside the local church and build on the foundation they have poured through sweat and tears.  This provides FH with a tremendous advantage in our effort to equip the community with ideas, tools and resources to overcome all forms of human poverty.

Of course, there is still hard work ahead.  Chronic malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, lack of education, dirty water, and injustice towards orphans and widows – these are not easy issues to address.  But these communities already possess the most critical ingredient necessary for sustainable transformation: knowledge and relationship with the savior, Jesus Christ.

Traveling with good company

In FH’s mission of serving the vulnerable in the most remote locations on earth, we are also grateful for those who travel there with us.  Churches from all over the U.S. have responded to God’s heart for the poor and have made the long journey with FH to places you cannot find on Google maps. After days in planes, trains and automobiles, church members have joined FH staff in sharing hope with people who feel that the world has forgotten them.

The beautiful children of the global south

Children in communities where FH works

American church, we thank you . . . for being the kind of friend who brings a furniture dolly on moving day.  We cannot do this ministry without you.

And if your church is not engaged in serving the poor, we would love to invite you to explore a partnership with Food for the Hungry.  Please visit our Church Engagement page for more information.

 


About Joshua Kienzle

Redeemed by grace and always the optimist, Josh loves to savor the simple things of each day. While we wait and watch for the extraordinary, amazing people and events are passing before us all the time. Traveling through 38 countries has taught Josh to keep his eyes open; you never know when something special is about to happen. Josh and his beautiful wife Carrisa have two children, Caleb and Evangeline, and love the adventure of parenting. Always a student, Josh is currently continuing his studies at Phoenix Seminary.

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