It was such a treat to have Brice and Shelene Bryan with us for this year’s event, “Fabric of Hope.” And speaking of treats…we had some amazing African-decorated almond sugar cookies from Eileen’s Colossal Cookies!
Food is a basic human need. Of course, many of us take food for granted. We eat regularly and we usually eat a lot. Sometimes we heat food in a microwave in our home—unbelievable! Sometimes we even eat in our cars after driving up to a restaurant window. It really is amazing how much of our lives revolve around food and how convenient eating has become for many of us.
After abstaining from certain foods or beverages this Lenten season, many people noticed that they had a different relationship with food. It probably wouldn’t hurt for all of us to reevaluate our relationship with food once in a while.
At our recent “Fabric of Hope” event, Shelene inspired more than 500 of us with a challenge to intentionally skip something in order to help someone else. In her inimitable style, and with enough energy to launch a rocket, Shelene urged us to reconsider our priorities and to ponder what God is calling each one of us to do as we contemplate God’s heart for those who are impoverished.
There are 168 verses about poverty in the Bible. God clearly has a huge heart for those who struggle to find enough food each day. Shelene reminded us that, as Christians, we are not supposed to be about serving ourselves—we are to be about serving others, following Jesus and serving whoever He places in our path!
Shelene wrote, “In Africa, for the first time I was able to block out the noise of my life long enough to hear God’s gentle whisper calling me to live differently. That trip compelled me to get my eyes off of myself and to start loving others as Christ did. It exploded my faith in ways I never could have imagined” (Ridiculous Faith, 20).
Serving others almost always involves sacrifice. It may require us to give up, or to “skip” something, in order that others may benefit. Shelene has inspired thousands to give up something to deliver food and build kitchens for those in need in many countries. In Rwanda, her organization is helping build the kitchen pictured above which will soon be serving 159,000 meals per year at our campus.
I am grateful that Skip1.org and Hope Haven Rwanda are both passionate about taking the resources, the energy and the opportunity that God has given us in the United States and spreading hope throughout the world. In this way, we are able to serve those in need, pointing their eyes to Heaven and reminding them that we are all part of this epic journey of faith.
I pray that you will join us as we continue to serve in some of the most difficult places on the planet. What will you skip this week?