I know I have felt hungry, and sometimes I say I am starving. I think many of us do in the U.S., but of course, we are NOT starving. I have never liked being hungry. Who does? I have never been a meal skipper. I actually like to eat snacks throughout the day and never have that hungry or too full feeling. I have been very blessed that I have never worried about food or my next meal.
I have thought about hunger and have been concerned about hunger; therefore, I have been a part of organizing the Feed My Starving Children Tomah Area MobilePack. I am so thankful for all the people in our community and surrounding areas that have come together to help with this cause.
This year I read a book called “The Gift of Life” by Henri Landwirth. A friend from church gave it to me. It is a wonderful book in so many ways. Henri Landwirth is a man that survived the Holocaust. He also opened Give Kids the World, a top-rated charity.
The first section of the book was his story of the Holocaust. He shares how hunger and thirst are feelings you never forget. He writes that he thinks it would be a good idea if each American could understand, really understand, what it is to be hungry. He thinks every person should go on a personal fast, a hunger strike for a couple of days, to understand firsthand what really being hungry is like. He says hunger and thirst are feelings that must be felt to be understood.
I grew up Lutheran, and I never practiced fasting. As an adult, I went without chocolate one year during Lent but beyond that, this has not been something I have done. His story of hunger made me think of the work we do with Feed My Starving Children. It made me think of the hunger/starvation in our world today. Henri’s book has weighed on my mind.
Since reading his book, fasting has come up in the daily devotions that I read. Matthew 6:17 says, “When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face.” The reading that goes with the verse that says, “By fasting, we demonstrate our love for Christ in a very tangible way. We practice honoring God over our own passions and desires. For a short period of time, we choose not to eat because following the way of Christ is more important than our appetites as we pray, “Not what I want, but what you want.” Matthew 4:4 says Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” It is about the need for us to be hungry for God.
People in the Holocaust and people who are truly starving do not choose to fast or go without food. They are not planning the day to stop eating. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to not know what, how much, or when I am going to eat again.
Last summer I took Henri’s challenge. I wanted to try and understand a little bit what that feeling was like. I was in such a privileged position to choose the best two days to go without eating. I also knew that there would be food on the third day. I used this time to pray for and think of starving children and people throughout our world. I took this time to be thankful for my health and always having food available for me. I took this time to be hungry for God.
Join us to assist in the concerns of hunger in our world. Go to fmsc.org and click on the “Volunteer” button. Sign up to work at the Tomah Area MobilePack on July 12 or 13. We would love to have you join our event.
In God’s love.
Tammy Hewuse, Tomah, is FMSC Tomah Area MobilePack organizer.