Food and Love for Our Neighbors

Rachel Chimits

Local ministries are reaching out to the abandoned and ignored in the United States with food and community.

Every Friday, World Challenge’s partners in Florida, Sharing Hope, prepare lunches and pack bags of groceries with canned goods, fruit, vegetables, bread and pastries. They also prepare 50 bags of children’s lunches with hot dogs, juice, fruit and other goodies.

Their 40 volunteers organize into three teams: one cooks; one packages the food, and the last one spends the afternoon delivering grocery bags and meal packages to those in need.

They put gospel tracts in all the lunch sacks and grocery bags and give out Bibles whenever they are requested.

All of this happens every single week of the year, even during holidays, ensuring that the people on their lists regularly have food.

The Power of Constant Care

Ruth and Ken are seniors, living out of a small Dixie Motel room. Due to kidney failure, Ken must receive a dialysis treatment three times a week.

They can’t afford to buy and maintain a car, so every other day, Ken catches a lift on the Access-A-Ride. On Saturdays, the Access-A-Ride doesn’t operate, so he walks to the center where Sharing Hope holds activities and Bible studies for anyone who’s interested.

While he loves attending because it encourages him in his faith, some days he’s too weak to make the trek.

Ruth does her best to keep their room clean and help Ken when he’s recovering from each treatment, but she’s dealing with her own health issues. She has COPD which comes with frequent respiratory infections and fatigue. While cleaning or walking somewhere, she often has to stop to catch her breath.

Recently, Ken asked if Sharing Hope could give them a small stove and cookware. He hopes that if he and Ruth are able to cook more of their own food, they’ll be able to eat a little healthier and he’ll be able to increase his protein intake for strength.

The reliable care and concern that Sharing Hope workers show for them has made a significant impression on the couple, and this month, Ruth gave her life over to Jesus Christ as her Savior.

It’s brought Ken a great deal of joy to know his wife will be with him in heaven.

Making the Difference

In the United States, poverty thresholds are not very high. A single individual only making slightly over $1,000 a month would not be considered poor by many government standards; and yet, in the majority of the U.S., it's hard to rent a place for less than $500 a month.

Even if that's possible, this leaves only $20 a day for transportation, clothing, phone and food expenses. That doesn’t include medical costs that aren’t covered by insurance.

This is where Sharing Hope steps in, helping families or seniors make ends meet and sharing Christ’s love with them.

These simple, loving acts make an eternal difference for some like Ruth.