Food is a precious gift, generously given to us by God, and one that is so often at the heart of our fellowship. As we come together to share a meal with family and friends, we are nourished in body and spirit – giving thanks for the abundant provision of God.
On many occasions we see food at the heart of Jesus’ ministry on earth: food for hungry crowds, feasts and celebrations, and sharing his table with both his friends and people from the margins.
Through the sharing of food, Jesus demonstrated his power to renew and restore the broken. When he gathered his disciples for one last meal together, Jesus turned the simple act of breaking bread into an enduring symbol of our restored communion with God and relationships with one another.
We know that for many people in our world today, getting enough food remains a constant challenge. In fact, 1 in 9 people in our world go hungry. And for the first time in a decade, global hunger is on the rise.
Yep, you read that right. At a time when there is more than enough to go around, this is just unthinkable.
Secure, reliable access to food is one of the basic building blocks that make it possible for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Even more than filling empty bellies, good nutrition paves the way for a whole host of flow-on benefits – things like better health, more reliable income and increased school attendance. That’s why community development projects related to food are among the most common activities supported by TEAR Australia.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
We see in the Bible that God’s pattern for provision goes beyond the bare minimum, and He calls the church to reflect His generous and abundant nature in a world focused on fear and self-protection. He calls us to imagine, through His eyes, what more than enough can look like for all people in the world, including mothers like Misozi
We met Misozi, a widow from with seven children on a recent trip to Zambia. Not long ago, after her husband died, she was struggling to make ends meet, not sure where her next meal would be coming from.
Now, she is facing a future with more than enough with the support of TEAR’s Christian partner, the Reformed Church in Zambia Diaconia Department (RCZ-DD).
RCZ-DD has been active in her village for the last three years, working alongside farmers to diversify their crops, protect the soil and improve yields, even in the face of drought and an increasingly unpredictable climate. With these methods, people in need, like Misozi have been able to break free from cycles that kept them dependent on unreliable practices.
The community is seeing huge improvements in health as families are eating a more varied diet and growing in their understanding of nutrition. On top of this, RCZ-DD has been active in educating people on a range of human rights issues, breaking down barriers and leading to restored relationships and stronger communities
More than enough looks like full stomachs, and flourishing health. Not just income for the bare necessities, but activities that bear fruit for entire neighbourhoods.
The work of partners like RCZ-DD beautifully reflects God’s vision for fullness of life, exemplifying His pattern for provision – one that goes beyond the bare minimum.
It’s work that is fruitful and leads to long-lasting transformation. It is an expression of the Church in action, and a vision of God’s kingdom being established on earth.