We had an emphasis on World Hunger for the last month at our church. Tonight was our "World Hunger Event." We found some information online about how to plan a learning activity for it. There were 6 groups of people: Wealthy, Middle Class, Lower Class, and 3 different groups in the poverty section. Only 5% of the people got to be at the wealthy tables. They got to eat steak, salad, vegetables, fruit, bread, dessert. The middle class got a modest dinner and the lower class got beans and rice. The poverty groups got rice -- some got to eat it with a spoon, some with chopsticks, and some with their hands. It was an extremely interesting night.
First of all, for me, I was passing out table assignments. We put the cards in random order so that we could pass them out as people arrived. I found it was hard to pass the cards out randomly. As some people arrived at the entrance I thought I should look through the pile to make sure they got a wealthy or middle class assignment. I didn't think some people should have to be at the table just eating rice.
There were specific assignments given to each participant. Like, you could beg for food from people that had more than you. The wealthy participants were instructed not to give anything to anyone. Some of the wealthy people did anyway. Rule breakers. At least 3 people sitting at the wealthy tables were miserable eating (or at least being provided a meal) while others were eating only rice. One lady told me she was embarrassed to be eating while others were not. One lady at the wealthy table asked her husband if he was bothered by the beggars. He said he was like a good American, he just pretended like they were not there.
Isn't that the way it is? We don't always see those that are living in poverty or are really hungry so we act like they aren't there.
I'm still processing all that happened tonight. One little girl at the lowest poverty table drew a picture on her card and wrote, please give me food, I am poor.
I am more than grateful for how much God has blessed my family. I agree that to those who have been given much, much is required. I am thankful for the opportunity to be more aware of needs of people around the world and in my own community. May the information bring action and not just knowledge.
Serving the King,