Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm Starving

How many times did I think those words to myself this morning?  I'm starving.  Worse, how many times did I allow those words to slip from lips in front of others this morning?

Today I didn't eat breakfast.  I hosted a Poverty Meal at church this morning to raise awareness of real starvation.  Not the kind I experienced this morning.  We asked our whole church to fast for breakfast so that we could all experience on a small level what billions of people across the world feel each and every day.  How sad.  

This wasn't my first time to fast.  I typically don't discuss it...I believe their is a bible verse somewhere that says that we should not brag about our fasting.  I keep it to myself.  But it is no secret that I do not like being hungry.  We have a name for it around my house: Hangry.  And oh boy do I get hangry.  You can fast many things...many of you are probably fasting for lent as we speak.  Food is my go to fast because it is the thing I rely most on each and every day.  Going without food reminds me to fully rely on God. 

So this morning, with an ache in my belly, and likely a glazed expression, I was committed to a mission: bring awareness to hunger.  I stirred many batches of porridge and managed a successful event only by the grace of God.  (Lord knows I can't concentrate when I'm hungry!)

  • More than 1 billion people experience real hunger on a daily basis.
  • In the last two years, more than 115 million children, women, and men have joined the ranks of the hungry.
  • Worldwide, 1 in 4 children don’t get the nutrition they need.
  • The poor spend up to 75 percent of their income on food.  
  • Faced with higher food prices, many children have been forced to eat cheaper and less nutritious food while others have to cut back from two meals a day to just one and in the worst cases, children may go without food for days at a time.
  • A child dies from hunger-related causes every 7 seconds.
  • Hunger is one of the leading child killers in our world, contributing to more than half of all child deaths
  • Every year, nearly 5 million hungry children die.   
  • Even if a child is just moderately underweight, she is four times more likely to die from
    an infectious disease compared to a well-nourished child.
  • Worldwide, approximately 145 million children are underweight and at risk of dying —simply because they don’t get enough nutritious food.
  • A hungry child is less likely to stay in school. Yet education is crucial to long-term food security.
  • A farmer with four years of elementary education is almost 9 percent more productive than a farmer with no education.
To relieve our hunger we ate a meal typical of a poverty meal served to those in need.  It is a corn/soy blend mixed with water to a porridge like consistency.  I was excited to try it, expecting it to resemble grits.  Or maybe oats.  But it didn't.  It was bad.  This is what people who are really hungry eat.  And then they fill their bellies between meals with dirt. (Seriously)  And I think I'm starving because I have skipped a single meal.  And I think this stuff tastes awful and I have to eat it once.  Just once.  This is sad.  My heart is heavy indeed.

Following our Poverty Meal we had a presentation about the Mwandi Mission trip where we got to learn more about the inner workings of the Zambian village.
I am so anxious to go.  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity.  As I drove to church this morning already my eyes have been awakened to the vast differences in lifestyles.  While my belly grumbled I glanced around at the town I live in and wondered how I would come back home and what my opinion of this place will be after witnessing the poverty in Africa.  Will it all look different?  Sound different?  Taste different

On the way home from church I was so ready to get real food in my stomach.  I wanted so bad to pull over and get something to-go at one of the restaurants.  And then I thought of the food waiting for me at home.  The fresh produce in my fridge, all the staples in my pantry.  So much food just going to waste so I can have a quick meal.  Despite my hangriness, I came home, chopped some veggies and waited for them to roast in the oven.  Knowing that I have food to come home to after "starving" all morning was a comfort.  A comfort that those who are really starving don't get to enjoy.  How sad.

Comfort Food Roast

5 medium white potatoes, diced
2 cups fresh green beans, ends snipped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 apple, cored and diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 can Aduki beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Trader Joe's Spicy Peanut Viniagrette

In large pan mix together olive oil with potatoes, green beans, mushrooms and apple.  Sprinkle in garlic powder and give it a good stir. 

Roast in 400* oven for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Stir in aduki beans and add peanut sauce.  Serve.
This is a quick meal that is very filling.  Perfect when you are in a hurry or in a pinch.  Of course you could use whatever veggies you have on hand and any kind of beans.  I picked up the Trader Joe's sauce last time I grocery shopped.  It was their sample of the day and it is so good!  It is also very versatile.  I have used it on salad, on portabellas, in wraps and on this dish. 
After this full plate, I have continued to feel very 'snacky'.  I just can't seem to fill my belly.  I have snacked on granola and now an apple.  I am a little out of control trying to compensate for my hangry morning.  I could not imagine really starving and not having the option to come home to a wonderful meal and endless snacks.  It breaks my heart! 

What can you do to help?  If hunger is breaking your heart too you can visit the World Vision website for ways to get involved.  You can pray for God to use you and pray for the billions that are without food.  Look around locally for ways to get involved.  Food pantries and soup kitchens are a great resource and can be found in most towns. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I googled mission trip and vegan and found your blog. I am very impressed. I was wondering how you eat on mission trips with Luke 10:7 in mind. I'm going to Haiti Sat for the 4th time and lots of food I choose to not eat for health reasons. Leigh