My dear friend and ministry partner Jeremy Affeldt has had another amazing year. He pitched 10 innings in postseason play, with 10 strikeouts and no earned runs contributing to the San Francisco Giants second World Series Championship in two years. Recently, Youthfront partnered with Generation Alive and AbleWorks to package 100,000 Something to Eat meals in East Palo Alto. Check out this TV interview.
If you watched Saturday’s video, you’ll know that we had a Something to Eat
event in early December. It was a huge deal for me. It was hard to be
away from my family, and hard for my wife since she was alone with our
three little boys. But I asked God, and God covered us, man. Her parents
came to help, and she flew in to see me.
Jeremy writes about it (To Stir a Movement);
We had over 400 kids packaging meals that day, to send to Haiti, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. We held the event at Cesar Chavez Middle School, in East Palo Alto. The kids were middle school and high school age, plus there were some families that came in with their kids and volunteered to help. We had kids from the College Track program too. We had a whole spectrum. It was really cool.
There were four or five shootings just in the last month in East Palo Alto, and nineteen murders on the year. It’s a very high gang area. And so we saw something awesome that day. We saw these kids come out and show that they still want to love somebody. They showed that they want to find joy in something. This was Jesus.
We had so many people show up that wanted to help, that we couldn’t even put everyone to work. So we asked the kids, “Who wants to take a break?” We had over 400 kids there, and not one of them wanted a break. Nobody volunteered to leave. So we had to have some of the adults step out, because not a single kid volunteered to take a break.
That is a fulfilling thing! One of the captains in the East Palo Alto Police Department came in to check out the event, and he told us, “This is unheard of in this community. This is not normal, what these kids are doing. This is awesome.”
That’s fulfillment for me. That’s part of the smile that I crave from God every day, and I felt it, because I didn’t do anything! I talked to the kids, I encouraged the kids, I helped out a little bit, but those kids did everything. I didn’t package any meals. Maybe I helped out a bit where I was needed, but these kids did the work, man, and they did it with joy. They had fun. I saw the smiles on their faces. I saw encouragement. What an awesome opportunity for these kids! I was just so thankful for it. And the community came together, and adults came in to hang out with these kids. I was so excited to see that. That’s what it’s all about.
I was fulfilled because I got to see 400+ kids package 100,000 meals and realize that they love like Jesus. They used unconditional love. They loved their neighbor as themselves. They fed people they’ve never seen before, and probably never will see, people from Haiti and Dominican Republic and Guatemala that they worked all day packaging food for. And they did it because they said, “We want to help people who are hungry.” Yes. It was Jesus.