The Garcias had been facing very difficult times. Manny and Lita live in Los Angeles with their two children, and have struggled for a number of years to make ends meet. Given the continued troubles of the economy, it had become a challenge for them even to put food on the table each week. As is often the case, the financial struggles bred anxiety, short tempers, and relational strain—especially between Manny and Lita.
One day, a small-group Bible study from a nearby local church came to visit the Garcias’ neighbors. Armed with open Bibles and the gospel message, the group was also delivering a Food Pak from Children’s Hunger Fund. During that visit, the Lord arranged for the group to meet Lita and become aware of her needs. They were able to share the gospel with her, as well as ask if her family would benefit from a Food Pak as well. Lita jumped at the chance!
A few days later the group returned to the Garcias’ home, again with the gospel on their lips and Food Paks in their hands. During that and subsequent visits Lita shared about the difficulties her family had been facing. With a patient ear and a passion to meet physical as well as spiritual needs, the group continued to exalt Christ and the work He accomplished to save sinners. Not long after, Lita professed to trust Christ as her Lord and Savior, and invited the group to hold a Bible study in her home. It quickly grew into a group of a dozen neighbors who gathered regularly to hear the gospel proclaimed. Today, Lita is a faithful member of that local church, and while they haven’t professed faith yet, the rest of her family has witnessed, up close and personal, a wonderful practical demonstration of the compassion of Jesus Christ.
Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF) is a Christian organization that works to feed hungry children in impoverished regions across America and around the world. For more than twenty years, the Lord has uniquely used CHF to train local churches how to best develop compassion ministries. What sets CHF apart from other relief organizations is their steadfast commitment to the local church. Rather than simply sending food to various areas indiscriminately, CHF understands that the Bible teaches that the church is to be at the forefront of compassion work around the world. Because of this, they work exclusively with local evangelical churches, supplying them with food to take to their communities as a platform from which to proclaim the gospel.
As churches identify needy families in their communities, members of the church visit those families with Food Paks filled with a variety of nutritious, non-perishable food items. On subsequent visits, church members continue to provide food, along with counseling and a biblical perspective on the issues of life. In the context of these relationships, believers are able to share the gospel, invite these families to church, and demonstrate the love of Christ. By equipping local churches that are committed to preaching the gospel and loving their neighbors, CHF has established a network of more than sixty churches in Southern California that feed more than 30,000 people each month. Every year, we hear testimonies of numerous people whom God graciously saves and who now worship Christ in these local churches.
By working with churches who are actively evangelizing the poor, Grace Church has an opportunity to spread the message of how Christ redeems sinners from the spiritual poverty that underlies all the issues that give rise to physical poverty. Over the next few weeks, our church family can partner with Children’s Hunger Fund and other churches throughout Los Angeles to demonstrate the love of Christ to those in need.
This is a very practical and effective way that our entire church family can partner with other local churches and minister to the physical and spiritual needs of our city. It’s exciting to think that donating a few food items can relieve a family’s hunger for a week or so. But it’s downright amazing to know that, while that food will perish, we can bring our neighbors the very Bread of Life come down from Heaven, which gives life to the world and satisfies spiritual hunger forever!
Local Outreach Pastor
Local Outreach Elder
Grace Community Church Staff Pastor
Grace Evangelism Leader