Saturday, November 03, 2007
A Visit to the World Hunger Farm
On Thursday morning I got a chance to visit the World Hunger Farm right outside of Waco. I spent the some time touring the farm and then I was invited to stay and eat lunch with the interns. Some of my students and I are going to spend a night at the farm November 30 participating in a hunger simulation.
The World Hunger Farm is an intentional Christian community that is(taken from mission statement)committed to the alleviation of hunger around the world. God calls us to:
* Train individuals in holistic ministry that equips them to work with communities in developing sustainable farming techniques
* Educate those with an economic abundance on methods of conserving and sharing resources
* Participate in local and international sustainable development programs
Our philosophy . . .
is to live simply, helping those who struggle to meet their basic needs by sharing and investing in others what God has given to us
At the hunger simulation, 11 of my students and I will have the opportunity to sleep in a one room building with no plumbing or electricity, use a homemade composting toilet, farm and cook our own food, shower with collected rainwater, etc. The facilities we use are just like what you would find in impoverished Nicaragua.
That night the rest of my organization we be invited to the farm to participate in a Hunger Banquet, where each participant is given an identity of someone around the world. About three people will get to eat steak (upper class) at a table while some eat a nice meal of beans and rice, and then others will sit at the floor and share a small bowl of rice, etc. What a great way to bring it home.
Participate in your own virtual hunger banquet where you "choose your own adventure" at The Hunger Banquet Website
Exposing myself and students to the ways of the world is so important to me. It is so important to bear the burdens of the body of Christ, wherever they are in the world. It is also so important for us (the rich) to be at least a little more responsible with all the "extras" we have. I mean, really, it is so easy to recycle, for example.
I think as Christians, rather as people, we have the responsibility to complicate ourselves by exposing ourselves to critical issues and to think critically about how these things affect the way we live our everyday lives. The learning outcomes that I have established for my students go a little something like this:
To understand the interdependency of all people and establish a commitment to be a local, national, and global neighbor.
To be able to articulat critical issues facing leaders today and be able to identify practical ways in which we can address these issues now and in the future of our vocation/calling.
These are things that we cannot ignore as we live are normal lives in Waco, Jackson, Clarksville, Germany, Denver, New York, LA, Russia, Asia, Canada.
The more I know Christ and the way he interacts with me, the more responsibility I have to interact with his people in the same way of grace and compassion. Essentially we are called to die for our fellow man, just as Christ died. Even if we are not willing to do that, the least we can do is stop spitting in their faces by taking all our privilege for granted.
A friend once told me that America is poor, blind, and stupid. I agree. The only way we can truly see is if we rip away from ourselves all of the things we collect in order to hide ourselves from the true freedom we were meant to experience.
I'm not sure how I am supposed to do this, but I think spending the night on a cold concrete floor with 11 18-19 year olds is a start. I have a feeling that on November 30, the 12 of us will be fuller than we have ever been.
World Hunger Relief Website
World Hunger Farm Blog