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Family Thanksgiving
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 “Mom! Do you want to see something really sick?” Our teenage daughter spoke with such urgency that I immediately looked up from my computer. “Look at this,” she said, handing me two brochures that had come in the mail. They showed a stark contrast between two different worlds. I’m not sure I would have automatically compared the two, but our daughter is always looking out for the underdog—and many times making me more aware.

One brochure was from a worldwide organization whose mission is to feed starving children around the world. The front read, “Every minute of every day, 9 children die by the hand of a silent killer. Hunger.”1 Underneath this startling fact was a picture of a five-year-old boy. Because he has never had enough to eat, he suffers from bloating, pain, stunted growth and brain damage. The boy isn’t just a face. He has a name. It’s Mugiraneza. The brochure stated that, “Your gift of $14 multiplies to feed 2 families for an entire month.”

The other brochure was from a mail order company that sells fruit and candy baskets for the holidays. “Look at this!” my activist daughter said, pointing to one add that offered a box of 16 pieces of fruit for…$36.95. For the price of one box of fancy packaged pears, you could feed 2 families in a third world country for a month.

Multiplying the Food

I couldn’t forget the words of the first brochure: “Your gift of $14 multiplies to feed….” Where else had I heard of food multiplying? It’s the story of Jesus feeding a multitude with just five loaves of bread and two fish. Humanly speaking, this simple meal couldn’t have possibly fed 5,000 men, plus women and children. But Luke 9:16, 17 says, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied….”

Can Jesus use your family to multiply food this Thanksgiving? If you're blessed with wealth, you can send enough money overseas to feed dozens of families. Or maybe you can feed only one—but that’s one less hungry person. Locally you can support your food bank by organizing a canned food drive or by taking food directly there yourself. Your family can serve a meal at a local mission. Or maybe your family’s way of feeding the hungry at Thanksgiving is setting another place at your own table for someone who would otherwise go hungry.

Thanksgiving is made up of two words. And for our family, we need to experience both to make this holiday what we feel it’s suppose to be. So we give thanks for what we have (though at times we may feel we’re lacking in the “wants” category!). But we also give. And whether it’s giving money, time, or possessions, we always walk away with that good holiday feeling. The feeling that our little family of three can make a difference, however small.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION.

1 World Vision

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