Weather or Not

Photo by Nick Mealey

Photo by Nick Mealey

This week, as much as three feet of snow dumped on parts of the United States! In May!

I emailed friends who were affected. As expected, they all found ways of coping with this late season blizzard. We do that in North America, utilizing money and machinery to mow down obstacles, man-made or natural.

The sudden snowstorm got me thinking about times and places when I couldn’t ignore my natural surroundings, when weather dramatically affected my daily life. One summer long ago, I worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska, far out on the Aleutian peninsula. I couldn’t ignore the weather—I was out in the weather. I got wet. I was cold. And weather was dangerous, able to kill unprepared mariners. Weather could be a matter of life and death.

This is how weather can be for those served by Food for the Hungry (FH)—who can’t ignore their natural surroundings. When people live close to the edge of survival, weather is still that important. A late spring shortens the growing season. A dry summer decreases crop yields.  A wet fall imperils the harvest.

There is a good side to a life that’s dependent on the weather:  The illustrations and metaphors that Jesus taught are still alive and vibrant to people with whom we work. He told stories about sowers and seeds that fell on good soil. And trees that produced good fruit. And people who built ever-bigger barns.

When those of us who live in developed countries become isolated from our natural surroundings, we lose touch with a little bit of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus’ teaching wasn’t abstract—it was rooted in the experiences of everyday life.

At FH, we help people cope with the challenges of everyday life. Food for the Hungry provides agricultural tools and techniques to assist people whose livelihoods depend on the weather. When weather is especially destructive, FH is there, helping in their crisis.

Take a moment to thank God for your ability to cope with weather (even if you were caught by this week’s snowstorm). And take another moment to consider how to help those more dependent on the weather than you.

About Barry Gardner

Barry Gardner is the Chief Financial Officer at FH. He joined FH in 2010 after a 20 year career as a financial consultant to non-profit organizations. He and his wife Susan live in Phoenix, where Barry enjoys year-round cycling weather.

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