April 12, 2010

Celebration of Hope

Did you know that every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes and one child dies every five seconds. Or that our country has enough food to feed the entire world 5 times around!?

Last Sunday was the kick-off for Celebration of Hope, of my favorite times at my beloved church. Celebration of Hope is one of Willow Creek’s ways for the congregation to express God’s love, bringing compassion to our very broken world.

We Stand |We Serve | We Give

He has showed you, O Man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micha 6:8

This week was the just the beginning and Willow challenged all of us to participate in the 5 Day Food and Water Challenge where we are to Stand in solidarity with our global brothers and sisters by eating as half the worlds population for 5 days. The meal options were as follows:
  • Plain oatmeal or Cream of Wheat
  • Rice and Beans
  • Rice and bits of chicken or fish
  • A small portion of carrots, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, squash or broccoli
  • Tap water
I decided that I wanted to take part of this challenge and just eat oatmeal and beans and rice. I'd like to share with you what I felt through the process. This was what I journaled when I had the time or thought to journal.

10:00 Oatmeal
11:40 Rice and beans because I am so hungry I cannot wait any longer
3:36 REALLY hungry - I'm thinking I need to eat something because this is so unhealthy to not eat! I'm trying to study but can't stop thinking about how hungry I am. I cannot wait for dinner but know I need to wait so that I can make it the rest of the night.
3:54 Am I really supposed to be this hungry?
4:45 Cannot wait any longer - Ate some beans and rice...the beans were gross
7:40 In Class - I'm so hungry but my stomach hasn't growled yet!
8:00 Officially CRABBY, Irritable beyond what I have felt in a long time
9:30 home from class and cannot just go to bed like this
9:40 - had 1/3 cup of milk and a granola bar (I cheated)
Notes: I was really craving Starbucks White mocha today! No idea why since I don't normally have Starbucks? I was really bummed I couldn't bring my Seltza water to class (my treat) and my pretzels (also a treat and to help me from being too bored)

10:30 Oatmeal (seriously bored with plain oatmeal)
1:30 Really hungry! I've been cleaning at my parents house all day so I didn't notice it nearly as much as yesterday.
1:35 Had some beans and rice with my mom, but it was good rice and beans (from a box) so I know it was a treat
7:00 Ate brown rice and beans...ugh, no more beans!
9:30 had 1/2 cup milk and a little bit of imitation crab meat (again, I cheated)
Notes: As I passed a Caribou Coffee, I just shook my head. It seems like it was such a luxury. Then I noticed the McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Giordano's, and then passed Jewel (ohhhh the food that was inside of Jewel!!) Really craving Jamba Juice today.

Started out the day completely unrested, couldn't sleep at ALL last night.
9:30 Oatmeal
10:30 Extremely irritable at babysitting. I mean REALLY irritable
12:30 Rice and beans
3:45 -4:30 Napped, I cannot tell you how tired I felt!
4:00 Stomach growling like you wouldn't believe!
5:00 Rice and beans
6:45 Not necessarily hungry yet but want to eat because I'm bored sitting in class
7:35 ate a granola bar during break - really crabby (Cheated!)
9:30 1/2 Cup of milk (Cheated again!)
Notes: I was thinking about food all day. The girl next to me in class didn't eat all her popcorn...POPCORN, my favorite food! I couldn't believe she was just going to throw that away, I was so hungry! While that sounds like I am being dramatic that was seriously what I was thinking. Though I got a nap in, I was still so tired after class and didn't have any energy.

10:30 Oatmeal
12:45 beans and rice - cannot stand this anymore.
4:00 went into Dominicks to buy carrots for my horse friends and just stood in the produce department in awe at what we have available.
6:25 I'm writing this blog...I know that was going to be the last meal I ate as part of this challenge. I have gotten what I think I am supposed to get out of this challenge. I know I am cheating but being finished and going out to dinner tonight but I have certainly gained a stronger appreciation for what it means to be hungry, though I never ever will really understand that considering I am healthy and being malnourished hasn't stunted my health/growth. Plus every time I was hungry, I'd just fill up my water bottle and drink some tap water. Most of the people who are starving don't have safe water to drink. And to think that these people are having to walk miles just to get water to drink, then lug it back to their families. I was so tired all week, I didn't have the energy to work out. I was a crab to most people I encountered. Tuesday night Jason and I didn't really even talk much because we were both too irritable.

God has really been working on my heart and joked that I didn't think I could be any more broken for the poor but this challenge has really made a lasting impression on me. Though I will eat too much food at dinner tonight and enjoy my seltzer water I've been craving all week and probably treat myself to the Jamba Juice I've also been craving, I am going to do my best and always remember all the families over seas and even in our own country who don't have enough food in their bellies every night. I am very thankful that I had this opportunity this week and look forward to the next part of We Serve...to be posted on later this month.


  1. Brave challenge! Your thoughts are very similar to what I would probably feel!