By Lorie Newman
Last night Duane and I attended a fund raiser event for the Golden Harvest Food Bank. There were various restaurant chefs at different stations around the perimeter of the room set up to give samples of their restaurant specialties to everyone.
When the speaker approached the podium, she spoke of hunger among the poor in Augusta. Everyone applauded as she told how many people her organization had helped feed in the past year.
It is wonderful that the food bank has helped so many people, but I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone attending that huge gala event really knew anything about real hunger. Not the I lost my job and don’t have any money to buy supper tonight hunger. No, I mean real hunger.
Do people in America really understand that word- hunger? If someone here in the States is hungry, they can get help. Praise God, there are churches who feed masses of people everyday and there are secular organizations who give food to the less fortunate. Why, our government will even give food stamps and vouchers for anyone showing a need for food. And the public schools will feed any school child breakfast and lunch for free if they cannot afford to pay.
Last night, the more that woman spoke about hunger, and the more the audience applauded, an incredible righteous indignation rose up in me.
Everything within me wanted to stand to my feet, grab that mic from her and say:
You all don’t know what real hunger is. Real hunger is a father in Haiti who fills his baby’s bottle up with water from a mud puddle because his wife has died of AIDS and there is no milk for his baby. Real hunger is a mother who is forced to abandon her little girl at the public hospital in Port-au-Prince because the child is dying from starvation. Real hunger is a twelve year old head-of-household orphan in Swaziland who sells her body for an orange and loaf of bread to feed her siblings. That is real hunger…
How long will we turn our heads to the extreme poverty in third world nations while we pat ourselves on the back and applaud our good deeds?
Lorie is a busy homeschooling mother of six children, including twins and two children who were internationally adopted one from Haiti and one from Liberia. She has taught and ministered in Bible Studies for over ten years. She and her husband Duane are founders of Reaching Hands Orphan/Adoption Ministries. Through a partnership with Childrens HopeChest, Reaching Hands Ministries enables nearly 300 impoverished African orphans to receive regular food, clothing, and education. You can visit her website at lorienewman.com.