Feeding the Hungry

Part of  my calling to serve Christ comes from my deep passion to meet both spiritual and physical needs in the world.  Those of us in church circles call that having a theology of social justice.  As a pastor I find that most of my ministry falls heavily on the spiritual needs side but on the rare occasion that I can go somewhere to serve, be it in my neighborhood or across borders, I am able to participate in ministry that meets physical needs.  I have been part of missions in country and out of country.  I have seen how people in the third world live.

Shortly after moving to El Paso, Pastor Julian Ibarra the pastor of the nesting Hispanic congregation in my church building, came to me and told me of the desperate need for food, for rice and beans in Cd. Juarez.  So we began a collection that I have been a part of now for four years.  Yesterday I attended their worship service and participated in the blessing of the gifts that my congregation and other congregations have contributed to.

What I found so amazing is hard to put into words.  For someone who grew up in the Midwest I find it to be such a wonderful gift to be able to be part of a worship service held in Spanish, with people who still have ties to those living in war torn Juarez.  Who despite all that has gone wrong in that city, in either their country of birth or their parent's country of birth they still come together and sing praise to God.  They still hold onto a faith that God will help them to make things right.

And while it is more than apparent that I am an outsider when I walk into their fellowship, I am perhaps the only one with that perception.  I am treated like a beloved child of God and my soul is fed when I gather with them.  I thank God for the generosity of my congregation and for the power of God to transform our hearts when we give generously to others. I thank God for Pastor Julian and his keen insight into his community in Cd Juarez, his desire to help those who are hungry and to offer us an opportunity to help.

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