In Matthew 25, Jesus shares a parable in which he says, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." The righteous ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?..." And the King replied, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
This teaching of Jesus fires my imagination and provokes a response. What are we doing in this to literally minister to Jesus himself by serving others? Desiring to shape young people formationally as disciples of Jesus in the context of this teaching we started Something to Eat™ several years ago. By the end of this year young people will have raised money and packaged well over two million meals for those lacking proper nutrition in Haiti, Africa, Central America, the Philippines, and also throughout the USA where millions of people are dealing with food insecurity everyday.
We have developed amazing collaborative partners such as FH and Generation Alive. We've had incredible support from foundations, donors and others who believe that it's not only part of God's mission to "give them something to eat" but who are also passionate about discipling a generation of young people to follow obediently in the way of Jesus.
This weekend, I'm working with my dear friend Jeremy Affeldt, who has provided deep vision and passion for Something to Eat™ , to package 250,000 meals. The cool thing is that the teenagers packaging the meals are from East Palo Alto. Most people know Palo Alto as the home of Google, Facebook, the Silicon Valley, the wealthy land of the innovator and Venture Capitalist. On the other side of the highway is East Palo Alto, a place that many people have written off. But that is not the story that these young people are embracing. Through the opportunities provided by organizations like Able Works, these young people are leaning into a different story, a story that mirrors the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25. Pray for us this weekend.
Pray for young people who want to not only give something to eat to those who are hungry but also want to stand up for the stranger and push for immigration reform; shine a light on the naked and end the scourge of sex trafficking; and cooperate with God's mission in the world in hundreds of other ways that bare witness to the reality that a day is coming when restoration will be completed and God will get God's way on Earth as in Heaven. This is a generation of young people that according to some of the latest research by Barna are more faithful than any other age group to speak up for Jesus and the Gospel.
In Matthew 25, Jesus was not giving an exhaustive list of the things we should be about in order to come alongside the "least of these." What are ways that you can minister to Jesus directly by serving the least of these? Listen deeply and allow God's Spirit and your imagination to open up the possibilities all around you.
Several days ago, I got an Advent Daily Dig featuring a quote that I can't quit thinking of. I've read it to a few people and asked them to guess who said this. Most people think of Pope Francis, which makes sense because he has us talking about the kind of issues that this quote addresses. We are talking about it because through his behavior he is pushing the conversation captured by the following quote to the forefront. The Pope has been called a Marxist. Jesus was called names also, it goes with the territory. So now, for the quote.
"Let everyone examine himself in the light of the Gospel and see hoLew far he is from Christ, and what is the character of his faith and love. There are many who are enkindled with dreamy devotion, and when they hear of the poverty of Christ, they are almost angry with the citizens of Bethlehem. They denounce their blindness and ingratitude, and think, if they had been there, they would have shown the Lord and his mother a more kindly service, and would not have permitted them to be treated so miserably. But they do not look by their side to see how many of their fellow humans need their help, and which they ignore in their misery. Who is there upon earth that has no poor, miserable, sick, erring ones around him? Why does he not exercise his love to those? Why does he not do to them as Christ has done to him?" Who said this? (The answer below)
Martin Luther, the Father of the Protestant Reformation
This is a letter we recieved from the National Coordinator for Food for the Hungry in Dominican Republic who responded to the latest crises in Haiti with food from Youthfront's Something to Eat Initiative.
This is one of the many leader moms we trained on how to
combine foods for better nutrition. The Youthfront food packs were used
to do the demo and then given out to share with the poorest families
trained through cascade. We will send a report next week.
Food for the Hungry Fights Growing Hunger Crisis in Haiti Food distributions and income generation projects meet acute needs
PHOENIX (July 1, 2013) – Approximately 1.5 million Haitians currently face severe food insecurity due to drought and crop failure, according to the United Nations. Food for the Hungry (FH) is responding to this crisis though emergency food aid and income generation projects, based on goat and rabbit breeding.
In partnership with Something to Eat, FH has distributed high-protein, vitamin-fortified meals to malnourished children and children under age 2. FH health and nutrition staff identify the most vulnerable children for food distributions. The program is taking place in Belledere and nearby communities on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Additionally FH has provided goats and rabbits for families to breed. Families receive animals with training on animal husbandry and marketing. As animals breed, owners sell the offspring and gain income to buy food in local markets. This supplementary income is essential for surviving the food crisis.
“Food is available for purchase locally,” said Dave Evans, FH’s U.S. President. “But escalating prices for food staples are out of reach for the vast majority of poor farming families. These households are now faced with the double burden of poor harvests from their farms and the rising cost of food in the marketplace. It’s a very serious situation.”
Emergency food is distributed by FH in partnership with Something to Eat, an organization that recruits U.S. church youth groups and other groups to pack emergency food packets for shipment to food insecure countries. The food distributed to date was pre-positioned in the region in case of a crisis in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.
“An amazing part of this story is that the food was packaged by teenagers, impassioned by hunger issues, who personally raised the money to make it happen,” said Mike King, President/CEO of Youthfront, who organizes Something to Eat.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt and author of To Stir a Movement, who has organized Something to Eat packing events, commented on the relief activity saying, “This is exactly the kind of need we want to meet. Our goal is to get healthy food into the hands of the most vulnerable in the face of crisis. Now the challenge is to see this through till the crisis is over.”
FH plans to do more food and animal distributions this month. Staff are monitoring the situation closely and coordinating efforts with the Haitian government and the United Nations. The focus of FH’s development work in Haiti includes child survival, education, sustainable farming, disaster risk reduction and church strengthening.
### Founded in 1971, Food for the Hungry provides emergency relief and long-term development programs with operations in more than 20 countries to help the world's most vulnerable people. Learn more by visiting www.fh.org. Social connections include www.facebook.com/foodforthehungry and www.twitter.com/food4thehungry.
On Baseball's Opening Day, Youthfront supporter, friend and associate Jeremy Affeldt
releases his first book taking readers off the field and into his life
story. The story of Jeremy’s relationship with our President Mike
and his involvement in our ministry, as well as details of his active
participation with Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ initiative are
featured prominently in the book. Expected to make multiple
best-seller lists, this book offers a compelling, page-turning story for
all readers. Another fan of Youthfront and five time Major League All
Star, Mike Sweeney says, “Jeremy Affeldt may be a two-time World Series
champion and one of the greatest left-handed relievers in major league
baseball but that is just the tip of the iceberg as to the man that he
is. As you will read in this book, Jeremy Affeldt is not defined by
baseball. He is defined and validated as a child and follower of the
most high God.”
Affeldt, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, tells of the ups and
downs of his life and major league career beginning with his childhood
spent in a military family, the impact his parents had on his life, and
his tumultuous high school years. Affeldt admits that he was often an
uncaring, self-centered athlete who was difficult for his parents and
teachers. So much so, that his dad kicked him out of the home on more
than one occasion. Although he attended a Christian school, Jeremy
wasn’t buying any of it until a series of events led him to see his need
After being kicked out of games and sitting the bench because of his
behaviors and his attitude, one of his coaches gave him books on
attitude and anger control as well as scriptures that Jeremy read mainly
so he wouldn’t have to watch the games from the stands. As the Bible
began to come alive for him, he was also influenced by God’s
transforming work in the life of another student who had been Jeremy’s
archenemy. That was the beginning of Jeremy’s close walk with Christ.
Jeremy Affeldt tells of his opportunities in baseball, his marriage
to his high school sweetheart and, of course, his success including two
World Series Championships – after many setbacks and injuries – in the
The book includes Jeremy Affedlt’s passion for social justice and his
humanitarian endeavors as he continues to use his time and finances to
do God’s work throughout the world. Available now, discover the side
of Jeremy that thrives off the field; the side that is passionate about
freeing the slave, feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty and
seeking justice for the oppressed.
Youthfront partnered with Generation Alive and Able Works to mobilize
450 high school students in East Palo Alto to package 100,000 meals for
our Something to Eat™ initiative. East Palo Alto is divided from Palo
Alto by a freeway. Palo Alto is a very wealthy area fueled by the
success of the Silicon Valley. Apple, Google and Facebook are some of
the corporate success connected to Palo Alto. East Palo Alto lies in
stark contrast to Palo Alto. About 65% of the residents of East Palo
Alto are Hispanic/Latino, 16% are African-American, and 10% Pacific
Islander/Asian. Several years ago, Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the
movie Dangerous Minds as a teacher, teaching a classroom of East Palo
Alto high school students whose lives were being destroyed by drugs,
gang involvement, illicit sex, crime, etc. For a young person, living in
East Palo Alto can still be a dangerous reality. In the few months
before our Something to Eat™ event several young people were killed
through drug and gang violence. The names Something to Eat™ and
Something to Drink™ come from Matthew 25 when Jesus led us to imagine
that when someone is hungry or thirsty and we give them food or water it
is the same as giving food and drink to Jesus.
than 450 young people from this under-resourced community moved outside
of the dominating and destructive script many of them feel trapped in
and instead worked to raise money to provide food for those around the
world who are suffering from starvation. Most of these young people
have grown up with a script that imprisons them into thinking that they
are stuck forever in a story that centers around poverty, drugs, gangs,
crime and violence. I wish you could have been an eyewitness to what
happened in this Something to EatTM event. We worked hard all day and
yet, these teenagers didn’t even want to take a break. We stopped for
short five minute breaks throughout the event to talk and reflect on
why we were doing what we were doing – information about the world
hunger crises, about the importance of taking care of each other along
with inspirational thoughts. We had local artists perform Street Poetry
that was uplifting and spiritually rich. It was amazing to see what was
The East Palo Alto Police Captain spent the day with us. He was so
enthused that he was on the phone talking to the news media reminding
them that they were all at the recent murder scene involving young
people and they needed to come and see the good things young people were
doing. I got into a conversation with the Police Captain, an East Palo
Alto School Board member and a former mayor of the city. We talked
about how important it was to provide the opportunity for these young
people to participate in an alternative script to the broken scripts
that they had grown up with and ensnared by. We agreed that these young
peoples’ imaginations were being unleashed and this has the potential to
alter their life scripts forever. It was also cool to learn that the
Police Captain grew up in Kansas City and had served our country for
many years as a presidential appointed U.S. Marshall
Albert Einstein declared, “Imagination is more important than
knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and
understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.”
I believe Youthfront’s mission to bring youth into a growing
relationship with Jesus Christ happens because we embrace the most
powerful script of all – the Gospel. The Gospel unveils a story that unleashes the imagination of those who have
ears to hear. The Gospel story has the power to render other scripts
impotent. Think of Jesus’ own disciples. They fled in fear when he was
arrested. They witnessed his crucifixion. They were hiding in a state of
dreadful trepidation. And when a few of Jesus’ followers, mostly women,
went to his tomb the Gospel story breaks forth with the declaration “He
is not here, he has risen!” Still the disciples hid in disarray and confusion. Although a few were convinced
that Jesus Christ was resurrected, some, Thomas for instance still
didn’t have the imagination to believe that the Gospel proclamation that
Jesus was risen could be true. And then he saw Jesus. Thomas declared,
“My Lord and my God!” I believe the Christian story properly told
stirs the imagination of the listener.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of people and things cannot be
acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s
lifetime. – Mark Twain
A pilgrimage is a sacred journey of deliberate travel; as a quest, or
for a purpose. Experience will tell you that they are life-changing;
one rarely returns the same. It is with this in mind, that Youthfront
extends an invitation to all who are seeking broad, wholesome,
charitable views that expand our imagination of God’s work to join us on
pilgrimage to Haiti this July.
This pilgrimage will guide us away from our homes and our
expectations. As we spend a few days traveling together, we will
connect and engage with locals of Haiti and we will learn from them.
Our time will be devoted to the present – to those we meet, to that
which we see, to God.
We will see fruits of labor and sacrifice as we visit people who have
been touched by Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ and Something to Drink™
initiatives. We will visit communities who have received meals packaged
by youth right here in KC and we will visit new wells that have been
tapped bringing forth water and life. Our fellowship with Haitian
Christians and orphans, albeit momentary, will somehow leave its imprint
on us forever. Our times of solitude with God in this land may give us
peace, yet perhaps it might disturb us. Nevertheless, on our return
home, we will be different. We will discover that we have a
pilgrims tale to tell not for novelty, but to be transformed into
passionate advocates for God’s action for the poor and vulnerable both
here and abroad.
Some things you should know…
This is not a mission trip. This trip is open to
participants 16 years and older, adults and parents are welcome. Youth
14-15 may participate, however they must have a parent or legal guardian
accompany them on the trip.
Estimated Trip Cost: $1,900/person (includes airfare, lodging and
meals) An additional $50-$100 is suggested for snacks and meals as we
travel to and from Haiti.
All trip participants must be registered and submit the initial
deposit by April 15, 2013. Please note *late registrations may require
more fees as flight pricing may increase closer to the departure date.
To register and submit your initial deposit go here.
This trip is open to 15 travelers so please contact us before April
1st to share your interest and register. All trip participants must
have a current passport.
If you are interested in joining Youthfront in July on pilgrimage to
Haiti please contact Morée Scofield, the director of
Something to Drink™ at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Presidents’ Day, February 18th, as our country remembers the privileged and the powerful, we gather together to honor the peasants and the poor like we did three years ago. Join us for the Peasants’ Day Feast to package thousands of meals that will be shipped to countries experiencing urgent food crises. Together, in fits of passionate action filling bags to boxes, boxes to pallets, and pallets to shipping containers with humble, life-giving feasts, we awaken an imagination of another world, another kingdom, another King.
Groups, youthworkers, families, individuals; all are invited to give food and clean water to the poor and powerless. Join us for our Peasants’ Day Feast. Sign up now.
Download posters and flyers for this event here.
Click these links to learn about Youthfront's Something to Eat™ and Something to Drink™