Posts Tagged: hunger

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Faith in Action Silicon Valley

Spotlight on an awesome local non-profit! New Life Church helped to start Faith in Action (FIA) in 1990, a rotating homeless shelter that houses up to 15 men who are motivated to get back on their feet. FIA provides job training, bus passes, laundry soap and connections to affordable housing as these guests live at a religious institution (church/synagogue) each month and eat their meals there. The financials for this non-profit are wonderful— very transparent and efficient— they don’t have a physical office and many of the people who work for the non-profit are volunteers. No one is getting rich from doing this, but there are great results. Men have been able to get jobs and gain financial independence and housing, allowing them to lead their families once more. Not only that, but the friendships they build during their time as guests have made some become men of faith and regular attendees of participating churches/synagogues.

We have the privilege tomorrow to prepare a meal for them. Sean Fitzgerald, a member of our congregation who has gone to culinary school, will be planning the menu. Meet at building D at 4:30p tomorrow to help out!

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I was talking to one of the teens about 30 Hour Famine and his response was:

who
what
when
where
why
who’s going
what’s happening
when is it
where is it
why are we doing it

Whoooooo that’s a lot of questions!

Let’s do this.

Who: New Life Church Youth

What: 30 Hour Famine. We will learn about world hunger (specifically in the country of Malawi), experience hunger by fasting for 30 hours (juices only) and we will overcome hunger by fundraising ($30 can feed a child for a month; partnering with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and World Vision) and serving in the local community to raise awareness.

When: We started learning about hunger and painting signs last Gathering (4/13).

Did you know that we have nail artists and chefs in our midst? Yes. Yes we do. We will start fundraising with Manicure and Meal for Malawi next Sunday after church. Invite friends!

Where: New Life Church, duh!

Why: You ask me a why and I raise you several questions…

1. What is pure and faultless religion?

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress (translation: the poor in society) and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

-James 1:27

2. What is a righteous man like?

He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked.

-Ezekiel 18:7

3. Does it really matter if I help alleviate hunger? Can’t someone else take care of world hunger?

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

-Matthew 25:34-40

(Of course, I am not saying that you have to help alleviate world hunger or you are a bad person, but I think we are called to have an others-oriented mentality. To be concerned about need in the world and meet that need in our own way.)

Who’s going: I hope you are! Even if you’re not a youth, please contact me at karen.lynn.yang[at]gmail.com if you want to be involved! Invite your friends!

What’s happening: We hang out. We watch videos. We make signs. We cook. We paint nails. We have a sleepover. We play games. We pick up litter. We drink juice. Whatever you think will help us alleviate hunger.

When is it: June 22-23 is Famine Weekend. Mark your calendars!

Where is it: We are giving our funds to help overcome hunger in Malawi

Why are we doing it: Hunger is a global problem.

Also, THROWBACKKK.

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"God died for you and for me and for that leper and for that person dying of hunger and for that person on the street…. It’s not enough to say that you love God. You also have to say you love your neighbor. Love, to be true, has to hurt. This requires people giving until it hurts. Otherwise it is not true love… Be the good news to your home people first. Find out about your next-door neighbor."

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-Mother Teresa, as she dedicated a convent in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1995; c.f. “Sacred Pathways” by Gary Thomas; “Mother Teresa of Calcutta,” Charlotte Observer (June 14, 1995)

Honestly, I think I would be terrified to meet Mother Teresa. Honored, but terrified. From what I’ve read, it seems like she was a spitfire, not afraid to tell people her mind, sometimes to the point of bossiness. But this came from a place of conviction, her confidence in what she was doing was right.

What she says here is incredibly challenging. “Love, to be true, has to hurt.” This week in women’s Bible study, we discussed Jesus’ crucifixion and the question: Why did Jesus have to suffer physical pain as He died?

When I think about the sacrificed that the Israelites once offered as atonement for sin, I don’t envision the flogging of a lamb. I envision the clean slitting of a throat, a quick death. But for Jesus, the sacrifice was different— it was messy, it was horrific, it was profoundly unfair. And through it all, his mother Mary watched and as Simeon prophesied to Mary in Luke 2:35, “And a sword will pierce your very soul” as she watched Jesus suffer and die in excruciating pain.

As hard as it is to imagine what Jesus’ sacrifice is like, it does convey that the sacrifice was important and authentic. That God takes seriously anything that might make us distant from Him (sin) and that Jesus’ love isn’t about words or little actions. It’s about giving up a life.

For us, words and little actions are important. Because love starts with being willing to give up our entire lives to God and other people. But it’s not about what’s safe, what little part of our lives we are willing to give on certain times when it’s convenient.

Sometimes it’s the giving up of a grudge against someone who has wronged us. Sometimes it’s spending time with someone who you don’t really like to show them that someone cares. Sometimes it’s choosing to work in a field that doesn’t pay very much so you can serve. Sometimes it’s holding your tongue when someone makes a false accusation against you. Sometimes it’s giving up a friend who makes you think about the world in a cynical way. I don’t know what it is for you. But these are the little ways we can choose to hurt for the sake of love.