August 18: 22 Minutes of Your Time + $22 a Month = 2 Children Fed, Clothed and Educated for 1 YEAR in Mathare Valley

I don't know about you, but I'm embarrassed to say that I had never even heard of Mathare Valley, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, until recently. I had no idea such a place even existed. Maybe you're more worldly then I am, maybe you're more up to date on global issues. But I have a feeling that many of you haven't heard of it, either.

Mathare Valley is considered by many to be the poorest area in all of the world, second only to the slums in India and the garbage dumps in Mexico. About 700,000 people live in two square miles of space, with no running water, sewage system, or garbage collection. Police do not go into the slum, so the area is rampant with crime, drugs, and prostitution.

Much of the population is orphaned children, who have lost their parents to disease as there is no medical care and as many as 1 in 3 people are HIV positive. Entire families and their animals live in 6ft x 6ft metal shacks and only make $2/day at most, and much of that goes to pay for rent for the shack.

Most people born into the slum live there and die there. The video below shows a little of what life is like in the slum and also what a difference food and education make in breaking the cycle of poverty, giving the children of Mathare Valley a hope and a future.

By partnering with Moody Radio and Feed Their Future by September 1st, you can help save the life of a child who didn't ask to be born into such a place. 

For a one time donation of $136, you can feed, clothe and educate 1 child for a year and provide their teacher with benefits. 

For as little as $22/month, you can feed, clothe and educate 2 children for a year!!

$22 a month. 

That is a drop in the bucket for most people I know, but it would make a world of difference in the life of not one but TWO children.

Don't feel like you have an extra $22 a month? Look at it this way:
  • Dinner out at Applebee's. 2 meals for $20 + water + tip = at least $22.
  • Pizza night. 2 Large Pizzas for $20 + delivery fee and tip = at least $22
  • Trip to the movie theater. 2 Tickets + popcorn and a soda = at least $22
  • Manicure/pedicure = easily $22

Or look at it on a weekly basis: $5.50 a week:
  • Eating out for lunch one day a week = at least $5.50
  • Starbucks coffee + tip once a week = easily $5.50
  • 24 pack of Soda or two 12 packs = easily $5.50
  • A cheap bottle of wine = easily $5.50

I've been convicted lately that I need to care more about the needs of others and less about my wants. About how much my wants really control and dictate my thoughts and actions.

I could change nothing else about my life for an entire year except choose to get coffee from Starbucks once instead of twice each week, and I would be providing TWO children with a way out of poverty.

That has got to be worth the trade.

Do you think you can give up something that you want each week in order to provide for the need of ONE? 

For these children, it's not a matter of choosing between food that's organic or food that's conventionally grown. They have to choose between scavenging for food, eating whatever they can find among the garbage, and starvation. 

For these children, it's not a matter of deciding between private or public school. They have to choose between an education and being able to eat during the day.

There is no free lunch program. There is no government assistance.

If you can give up a small thing, one want, in your life each week, or each month, you can change the life of at least ONE child for an entire year. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Maybe part of God's plan is to provide a hope and a future through YOU

At least think about it today, friends. And if this isn't your thing, then choose another. But choose something.

Come on, Cleveland!! Please spread the word and share with your friends! Campaign ends September 1st!

August 15: #FirstWorldProblems: There's Nothing to Eat in This House + A Solution and Donation Opportunity!

I don't know about you, but sometimes in the days leading up to payday food is a little…sparse. It's not that we don't have money in the bank, it's just that the money left is often allocated for other things. I tend to blow through the food budget more quickly then I should and am usually left with a meager amount to work with the last week before payday comes around again.

So I opened up the refrigerator last night, and I panicked a little at the sight of the scanty food sitting inside. We were out of eggs, cereal, bread, oatmeal, and fruit. The bag of all-purpose flour contained an amount so insufficient as to even coat some chicken breasts.

What in the world are we going to eat for breakfast, let alone the rest of the day?? We have nothing to eat. There's no way this is going to work. We really need to run to the store.

And I wasn't the only one who noticed the shortage of sustenance in the house--a couple of the kids had already chimed in earlier that day about a needed trip to the store.

As I was standing in front of that open refrigerator door, worrying about what to feed everyone the next 24 hours, I heard the Lord break through the cosmos and gently whisper to me: There's plenty of food in your refrigerator. It's just not what you want to eat.

I feel like I've been learning a lot from the contents of my refrigerator lately. But that's totally and completely true. I was convicted in that moment as to how often I run out to the grocery store prematurely to satisfy mere wants instead of using what we already have in the house first and being satisfied with that. With only a day left before payday, I was convinced we needed to make it work.

So I shared my concerns with my husband, particularly about breakfast because I was at a loss, and told him about my conviction experience. He opened the pantry, saw the bag of brown rice and suggested rice pudding. We had two cups of milk left, a bag of rice, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. So he made the rice pudding that night and the kids had it for breakfast this morning. You would have thought it was Christmas morning!! They were so excited and couldn't stop talking about how good it was. It was a special treat and a fun memory of God providing in what we already had around the house.

We wouldn't have had that experience had we run out to the store for a box of cereal.

#FirstWorldProblem: I'm hungry, but not for any of the food in my house.

Oh look, there's even a meme that expresses my thoughts exactly… 

#FirstWorldSolution: Don't become a slave to your wants. Use what you already have in the house. If you're not going to use what's in your pantry, donate it to someone who will. Today.

How does it help the starving children around the world for me to eat what's already in my house instead of buying more?

That's an excellent question. I'm glad you asked.

It doesn't. Yet. 

But what this does do is put things in perspective. I can now see my pervasive desire to have more then my basic needs met. I'm living on an entirely different plane where I expect my wants to be met, as well. The result of this extends far beyond food. Sure, we have pantries full of food we never get around to eating, refrigerators full of leftovers and half-consumed jars of whatnot that eventually get tossed.

But we also have closets stuffed with clothes we don't wear and basements filled with things we don't use and garages that are so overflowing that we actually have a season in this country each year where we try to sell them. The whole garage. 

So no, it doesn't help the starving children in Africa right now. But what if we bought less food for ourselves and instead concentrated on using what we already had? What if we bought less stuff in general? That would inevitably free up money we didn't realize was there, which most definitely COULD feed at least one child. 

**If you'd like to put your money where your mouth is this month, here is a good local cause:

Feed Their Future
Feed Their Future is an opportunity for Bright Hope Allies to join with our partner in the Mathare Valley slum of Nairobi, Kenya to feed and educate 1,400 students, support their teachers, and promote sustainability initiatives. Campaign ends September 1st!!
  • A one-time gift of $136 will feed and educate one child and provide her teacher with benefits for a year!
  • For $22 a month you can help feed and educate two children and provide their teacher with benefits for an entire year!
  • 3 Ways to Feed Their Future:
  • 1. Donate Online or call 888-333-4978
    2. Pray for the students in Mathare Valley, specifically for a way out of the slum and sustainable funding for the programs that support them.
    3. Share Bright Hope’s Facebook posts on your social media sites to get others involved.

And if we all just fed one child… we could change the world, one life at a time. 


Please Share With Your Friends!