Recently, I was preaching in Kenya where they are having an immense drought and food crisis. The ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa is part of what may be the greatest famine of our lifetime. After our church gathering, we decided that we would feed everyone. Since we announced it, there was obviously a huge crowd. The service lasted a little over four hours—so everyone was more than ready for the food.
Since I was the preacher (and I had paid for the food), everyone insisted that I was first in line. I tried to position myself at the end, but they would have it no other way. There was so much food. People were ecstatic because so many had not eaten in a long time. When I led the way, I decided that I would serve myself because I really didn’t need that much and not everything on this buffet was my personal favorite. So I started putting small portions on my plate. Then one of the women who was serving took my plate away from me. She was upset that I was not getting enough food. So she and another lady started piling the food on my plate. I could barely carry the plate with the food heaping over the sides.
I sat down and started eating. There was no way in the world I could eat it all. It was full of ugali that is so filling, and I finally couldn’t stuff one more bite into my mouth. But I had to eat it all. Why? Didn’t your mother always tell you to finish your plate because people were starving in Africa? But I just couldn’t do it. And I didn’t want to leave food on my plate. So when I saw a lady walking by, I nonchalantly asked her if she could take my plate. She seemed more than happy to do so.
Then, I started wondering what was going to happen to my food. I hated to see it thrown away. So I followed her. She went outside. And there beside the school was a huge line of little orphan kids jumping up and down. They were all trying to work their way up to my plate and grab some leftovers. It might be the only food they would get for a long time. Then I thought back about my huge plate of food.
Here’s what I learned. If you consume less, there is more for others.
Maybe that is God’s economics. - Milton Jones, CRF President