Global Food Crisis Day

My friend Mr. James recently joined Facebook. I'm always excited to connect with old friends via Facebook, and I was especially glad to see the friend request from Mr. James. He and Miss Mary were more than friends or neighbors, they were family. We rarely get back to Conway to visit these days, and this former "letter-writing queen" lost her title many years ago (and has trouble finding a stamp these days.) But somehow keeping up with people online works...probably because I can send a message in the middle of the night when most people are asleep, or type an entire conversation in chat without worrying that they can hear the barking dog in the background. :)

Apparently his entry into the world of "social networking" inspired a new article (which I can't wait to read :)), "Things I Said I'd Never Do...But Did". I had to laugh, because I had also said I would never Facebook...or blog, for that matter!! That prompted me to think about other things I said I'd never do, but have...and in some cases, have made a complete about-face. :)

This morning found me pondering the latest addition to that list. Up until a few days ago, I would never have expected to be sponsoring a child through a hunger-relief organization, for a variety of reasons.

Then one day last week, Bayley came in telling about something she had heard on the radio about children in other parts of the world going hungry...and even dying of hunger. She and Peter were both very burdened about what they had heard. As part of the missions study we are doing during our Bible time, we were beginning a spin-off unit study on "frugality". The more we talked about missions, frugality, and now world hunger, the more we began to feel that God was leading us to sponsor a child through Compassion International.

We've been struggling lately with attitudes of ungratefulness and discontentment, and I had been praying for wisdom in replacing those attitudes with grateful hearts and contented spirits. These were relatively new issues with my once-super-grateful children, and I was stumped.

I was excited about the heart for missions I was beginning to see developing in our children, and had been praying for more hands-on opportunities for us to be involved in missions as a family.

I generally see myself as a pretty frugal person. I grew up with a very frugal mom, and had lots of other examples of creative, frugal women around as well. When I quit working full-time before Peter was born, our income was cut by over half, and I began to get really serious about frugal living. However, I've realized lately that in the past few years I've too often allowed "life" to sabotage my frugal ways. Health issues, busy schedules, intense stress...all have gotten in the way of my being as frugal as I could or should be.

I've been feeling very convicted about that for the past few weeks. I knew change was necessary, but that it wouldn't come easy...for me or the rest of the family. We needed motivation and discipline...and I began to pray for both, as well as for creativity to *sell* an even more frugal lifestyle to the family.

We haven't even completed the process of signing up to sponsor a child yet, and I'm already seeing God work through it in our family. The children are already showing gratefulness for foods that ordinarily would elicit complaints. They are so excited about sponsoring a child and looking forward to seeing what God is going to do in this new adventure. I'm already finding myself *thinking* more frugally, calculating how much things cost in terms of "that is x% of a monthly child sponsorship." And my children are keeping me on my toes...after the discussion we had last week about convenience foods and junk foods and their negative impact on our food budget, Peter asked this morning, "Mom, why did you buy those ready-to-bake cookies last night?" Eek.

Today is Global Food Crisis Day, hosted by Compassion International and radio stations all over the country to raise awareness of hunger issues around the world. According to Compassion International's "Hunger Facts" sheet, 12,000 children around the world will die today from hunger-related causes. That is one every 7 seconds...a sobering statistic that has made an impact on our family. No, eating all the vegetables on our plates won't help the starving children in Africa, but changing our habits so that we can sponsor a child can. I found a new blog recently that I've really enjoyed, and I love her tag line...

"Living Simply to Give Generously."

There are simple changes we can make to make a difference, and we're excited about seeing how those add up! Our Compassion sponsorship will cost what a trip to McDonald's now costs for our family (other than those "we're all drinking water and eating dollar sandwiches" trips we occasionally make on Wednesdays on the way to church, which we're also trying to cut out :)). We're not talking about going off-the-grid, using washable toilet paper, or becoming vegetarians. I'm not even giving up Diet Coke.:) Of course, along with Mr. James, I'm learning to "never say never"...


1 comment:

Kecia said...

Good for you Jennifer. Mike and I sponsored a child until she graduated high school, and then we had kids of our own, and always feel like we "can't afford it"...but you've given me something to think about.