Did you know that more than 1 billion people are suffering from hunger daily? And perhaps even more staggering—a child dies every 7 seconds because of hunger-related causes?
I walked into my apartment building Sunday afternoon and it smelled awesome—Amanda must have been cooking something good! She and her husband have told me I always have an invitation to join them, but I shut the garage door and told myself, you have plenty of food upstairs for lunch. It was then that I had to remind myself I’d already had lunch.
A bowl of corn/soy powder mixed with water. This was our lunch on Sunday.
A few weeks ago, Kate and Storly (who are leading our Sunday school class on "The Hole in our Gospel") told us we'd be having a lunch after class one day when our pastor could come, so that the class could ask him questions about how our church is responding to poverty and missions.
What they didn't tell us until the moment before we went into the next room is that this lunch would be the same corn/soy blend powder that World Vision sends to people groups suffering from hunger.
I’m so glad we had the opportunity to do this. It’s hard to think that this is the relief we are sending, and obviously, we all had a much easier experience eating it than those who normally receive it.
For example, even just the fact that it was made with clean water, that we didn’t have to go fetch that water and that we had dishes to put it in, are all things that aren’t a given in the countries that receive this food aid. Not to mention the fact that we all knew when our next meal was coming, and probably many of us even spent the evening eating more Super Bowl snacks than anyone needs.
Kate, who used to work for World Vision, got a hold of some of the powder and mixed it with water earlier that day. It made for a grainy consistency, almost similar to that of grits, but this certainly tasted less substantial. There were a few chunks in it. Not chunks of food, just chunks of powder that had not been dissolved all the way.
If this doesn't sound very appetizing to you, consider this...at least there wasn't mud mixed in with ours. In "The Hole in our Gospel," Stearns quotes an article from The New York Times:
"In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically consumed only by the destitute. 'It's salty and it has butter and you don't know you're eating dirt,' said Olwich Louis Jeune, 24, who has taken to eating them more often in recent months. 'It makes you're stomach quiet down.'"
Can you believe that? Storly, who is Haitian, reassured us that this is true. Kate, who has also lived in Haiti, said that this corn/soy powder mixture is made into cakes with mud and then sold in Port au Prince.
Speaking of Haiti, click here to read an amazing story! The story is about Junior, one of the seminar students I spent time with in Port au Prince, and it is an awesome example of God's power.