Imagine not knowing where your next meal will come from. That is a question that most of us reading this post have likely never have had to ask. I know there were some pretty lean times in my family when I was growing up – though I didn’t know it then. Even as an adult, with a family to feed, even in times of joblessness, I never truly had to wonder where I would get food. Maybe I didn’t know how I would pay rent, but I have always lived in places where if I really needed to, I could go to a food pantry, or we could get by on WIC assistance or Food Stamps. I’ve had food boxes delivered to my home because a church found out we needed help, and most of the time, we have a pretty good stock of dry goods set aside in case of emergency.

In my community, from the first week schools closed due to the pandemic, there have been free food bags made available to any child under 18, no questions asked, if you just come to one of the schools or neighborhood centers where it’s been identified that many of the free-lunch-qualifying families live. To tell the truth, I didn’t realize how many resources were available in my community that aren’t available in other parts of the country. I understand that those who live miles out of a small town might not as easily be able to get one of those free lunches, but I was more surprised to hear about city-dwellers who hadn’t received their stimulus check, unemployment benefits, or any food assistance even months into the pandemic.

So maybe they can imagine not knowing where the next meal would come from.

Imagine now, living somewhere other than America, and there being no unemployment benefits, no government stimulus, no food stamps, no food pantries, no WIC assistance, no free meals. Ever. All these things we, in America, or at least me, in my town, have come to think of as normal. How can anyone in America go hungry? But they do. And they do in many other parts of the world as well.

Often the problem isn’t that we lack supply — it’s a matter of getting the supply to where there is demand. When restaurants shut down all over the country, there were dairies whose contracts were with those restaurants, who had to dump thousands of gallons of milk, because contracts were canceled, and they had nowhere to store the surplus, and couldn’t get it re-routed to stores fast enough. Meanwhile, grocery store shelves were empty, because everyone was now eating at home.

I posted a story yesterday about how friends in Costa Rica helped to address this problem in their area. Today, I will share how friends in Cambodia — Uriah and Naomi Lyford — worked to end hunger in their area.

world hunger

Uriah & Naomi Lyford with the second truck of food – 11.5 tons! – that they helped fundraise for and arrange to be delivered to 850 needy families in their part of Cambodia.

First, they used their own savings to purchase a bulk supply of food to give immediate relief to familes. Then, early in May, they sent out a request for donations to feed these hungry families. In their area, $25 in American money can feed a family for a month. I’d be embarrassed to say how much my family spends on food each month. Their goal was $10,000, enough to supply 400 families for one month. By the end of May they sent out a response: their initial  goal of $10,000 had been met, but more people were coming to them, so they prayed and asked God for more. This is what they were able to share with their prayer and giving partners:

We have now exceeded our goal and raised enough money to feed 850 families! People have been so blessed and encouraged. More than just food, these deliveries have brought hope and joy in uncertain times. We are excited to stay connected to the various villages and families we have helped through this season and already have plans to show the Jesus film in many of the ares we visited when the situation is safe.

Praise God!

I know there is still work to be done to end world hunger. Can you join me in praying for these things:

  1. If needed, repent for taking each meal for granted, instead of truly being thankful for our food.
  2. Thank God for the victories He has brought, for generosity and faith of those who step out, to their own detriment at times, to obey in what God has put on their hearts to give. Thank God for the way our faith and obedience, when presented to God, becomes an offering that He multiplies for the benefit of many more.
  3. Pray that God will help bridge the gaps in supply and demand, so that food is not wasted, and no one goes hungry.
  4. Ask if there is anything in particular that God would have you do today or this week, and to help you be aware if there is a need in your immediate community that you can help fill.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in”    – Matthew 25:31-46 –