I was shopping for groceries. I had a bad attitude. I was tired and hadn’t made a list and felt a nagging sense of annoyance as I tried to figure out what to make for dinner for a week. I threw a box of pasta into my cart and noticed the sign attached to the back of it. It said that 1 in 5 kids in America suffer from hunger. I read it and then dismissed it as I tried to remember if we needed peanut butter or not. But I couldn’t fully push it to the back of my mind, partly because earlier that week a co-worker at Awana had shared that same statistic with me. At the time I didn’t pay that much attention to the conversation. Having to face that awful fact twice in such a short time was convicting to me. The next day I circled back to my co-worker to understand what Awana in the US is doing about 1 in 5 kids being hungry. She eagerly shared several stories of how clubs around the US are ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of their community.
Here are two stories of clubs reaching kids in need.
A club in California invites children from a low income neighborhood near their church to attend club. They realized that a number of the kids were probably not getting fed on a regular basis so they decided that they would do a bar-b-q every week prior to club right out in the open and if a child stopped by they would offer a meal and then would invite them to stay around for Awana. Their club has grown because of the outreach and the physical need that they are meeting in the children is now being seen in the spiritual need that they are also now able to help. Pastor Steve will confess that these aren’t always the easiest kids to work with, but knows that their club is right where God wants them.
Another club from New York feeds hungry kids that go to an emergency shelter called Open Door Mission. The Awana kids bring food and supplies like clothes and paper towels to Awana night. The kids get 100 points for each item they bring in. Then a leader takes the food/supplies to Open Door. Open Door also comes once a year to speak to the Awana kids about what Open Door does.
That grocery cart and the stories of what Awana clubs are doing to reach kids convicted me. I’m looking for ways my family can be part of helping hungry kids.
Is your family expressing gratitude for what you have by reaching out to meet the needs of others?