This last week was an eventful one for Impact 360 students. This week we went to SIFAT, (Serving In Faith And Technology) to try to gain a better understanding of what a majority of the world goes through on a daily basis. One of SIFAT’s objectives is to help impoverished people groups by giving and teaching them how to use appropriate technology. We were given a crash course on a few ways to purify water, use efficient stoves, and how to preserve food without refrigeration.
But the meat of the week was in where we stayed the first two nights. We stayed the night both in a makeshift village, and in constructed slums. In both we did an activity that put us directly into the shoes of somebody in poverty. It may have been an activity, but as our counselor/instructor Addison told us, for the briefest second when we were told we would not eat that night, or when we were told that we did not have enough money to continue living in the four pieces of wood and cardboard that constituted our house, for the smallest second, we reacted the same. We knew what it was to have our entire world wracked with uncertainty and hopelessness. But only for that second. Then came the understanding that we would be in our own beds the next day, warm, full, and satisfied. But that feeling stays for so many throughout the world.
Addison warned us not to let these three days fall into our experience backpacks and just move on. He said that to be able to take it seriously and do something about it, we have to take it and make it apart of who we are, however painful it might be. It does not sit well with us to know that there are people around the world dying because they do not have the food that we throw away off our plates because we prefer something else. It makes us uncomfortable. But that is not all. It is also a conviction. We are complacent and content in where we are, and our arms do not stretch to embrace the cold and lonely. As Christians, we should feed them. That is what SIFAT wanted to try to drill into our heads. There are people who need help, and we should give it to them. We should feed the hungry not because they asked for it, or because they need it, but because we are commanded to. Holy God gave an order, and His should be followed.
I want to part with some convicting words that were written on the wall inside the lodge we stayed a night at.
“I was hungry, so you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger.
I was imprisoned, so you crept to the church to pray for my release.
I was naked, and you debated in your mind the morality of my appearance.
I was sick and you knelt and thanks God for your health.
I as homeless ad you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
You seemed so holy, so close to God, but I am still lonely, cold, and hungry.”
Your striving brother in Christ,