We are asking all of our friends and partners to provide life-changing meals for children – ONE MILLION MEALS in fact through our One More Child Celebration Ball on September 16 – because we must meet the basic needs of children and families to be able to meet their most profound needs.
When you make it possible for us to connect an empty belly and weary soul with food you are provoking a spiritual experience.
Not the kind of “spiritual” where you are licking your fingers because the barbecue sauce at the local steakhouse reminded of you of your granny’s famous pulled pork. Or the kind of “spiritual” where some finely crafted chocolate baklava elevates you to a state of euphoria.
It’s the kind of spiritual that Jesus set the table for during his time on Earth. When he was preparing to share the Good News with a large crowd, Jesus fed them first; in the first recorded interactions with some of his disciples he pulled in a massive haul of fish for an unsettled bunch of fishermen; and in his final gathering with his closest friends he associated his body and his blood with food and drink at a dinner table that any of us would be lucky to fit in our dining room.
When you make a gift that provides meals to children at Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, The Porch Light and Orphan’s Heart you are setting the table for eternal transformation.
The benefactors include impressionable young adults like 17-year-old Whitney*.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Whitney and her siblings were abandoned by their mother.
When she arrived on one of our campuses we couldn’t take a Magic Eraser and make her troubles disappear, but we did immediately meet her needs in every way possible, beginning with food.
Instead of wondering whether her mom was going to be home for dinner or not, Whitney now had house parents serving up plates of piping hot chicken and veggies and children and teens in her home to enjoy an ice cream cone with on a blazing summer day.
A funny thing happens when we meet the basic needs of a child – their perspectives quickly change.
Recently, Whitney and her house parents were volunteering at a local church, serving meals to people and families in need.
As one guest made their way back to their table, Whitney whispered to one of the house parents: “She has come back through the line three times…”
The house parent offered this wisdom in response: “We have no idea when her last meal was. We need to remember and be thankful for the food God provides for us! We always get to eat three meals every day!”
Whitney absorbed the response and pensively replied, “Yea, and a snack too!”
The recurrent gift of food provided to Whitney and her siblings every day – which are made possible because of our incredible donors and partners – allow us to fill plates with life-changing food and also set the table for experiences where God moves in the lives of children.
We know that we cannot “live on bread alone”, but Jesus modeled how building community through food is a timeless principle for those who believe.