If we all work together, I believe this lofty goal is one we can reach here at Concordia, with the help of God and the Feed My Starving Children organization.
By Isaiah Mudge (’23)
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), about 25,000 people die each day from hunger. That equates to nine million people per year—or double the population of Louisiana.
I first came across those numbers during my freshman year at CUW as a part of a project for one of our general education classes. I think we’re surrounded by numbers in the millions and billions so frequently that we start to forget their true magnitude. Nine million people is enormous to the point that it’s basically unimaginable.
There are plenty of things to be passionate about on earth, but the WFP has argued that with $40 billion per year for 10 years, it could end world hunger. In a world economy of 85 trillion dollars, you’d think that could be done.
Life in a fallen world
While it’s great to talk about taking action, I think we need to remember that the presence of so many wrongdoings around us illustrates a disease.
We live sinful lives among a sinful people, in a world where evil cannot be escaped. There will never be an end to pain or starvation, and even if there is, then other problems will replace them. So, while Christians do need to be sources of change and goodness, we don’t do it because we want to make the world perfect; that’s not our job. Rather, we do it because God first loved us, and we wish to show that love to one another.
Most people know John 3:16, but do you know 1 John 3:16? It says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Paul directly tells us how far we’re supposed to go to love one another. He also tells us why we should do it.
This verse has stuck with me the past few years in its shocking explanation of how we’re called to live. I have known many Christians through my life who have demonstrated it to me, many of them at CUW.
World hunger, the reality of a sinful world, God’s call for Christians to act—all these things were still on my mind during my junior year. Life was going back to normal after Covid, although campus still wasn’t nearly as lively as it had been before. Concordia was having difficulty with its presidential search, and there had also been recent turbulence at CUW regarding the suspension of a professor.
I felt that we needed something that could help to rebuild our community, remind us what Christians do, and make a small dent in starvation at the same time. In the midst of praying about these events, I though I should also do something about them. I decided to start a Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) Mobile Pack event.
Service to Christ in the world
For those unfamiliar, FMSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting starvation. Third party organizations raise funds; FMSC uses those funds to buy ingredients and send them to the third party; volunteers then pack meals using the ingredients; then FMSC ships the meals to those in need. The meals are engineered so that each meal has the baseline nutrients a child needs for one day.
It strikes me that being a student at CUW may be the last time I’ll be a part of such a large faith community. So, I set a goal of 385,000 meals, which will require about 1,800 volunteers to pack with $100,000 for materials. When everything is complete, we’ll have packed enough meals to feed over 1,000 children for a year.
We can’t fix the world, but that’s okay, because God doesn’t ask us to. All he asks us to do is love each other sacrificially, just as he loved us.
Those are big numbers, but I think we can do it. I get the impression that people are looking for something to be a part of as Covid years are left behind. For example, this project is almost entirely led by student volunteers who put in hour after hour despite having other commitments.
It’s been humbling to see the willingness of my peers to put time into this, despite high class loads and other volunteer projects. Administration and faculty at CUW have also been a great blessing, helping these student volunteers across obstacles with willingness and encouragement.
A wider reach
As the project continues, we hope to reach out to the community as well. We’re looking for involvement from both private and public high schools in the area, as well as businesses and CUW alumni. I hope it’s a signal to our community that what makes Concordia unique is the people who go here and the God we serve.
As I wrap this up, the central idea I want to leave behind is that Christians are people who sometimes look at the world with sadness because we see its brokenness. However, we also look at the world with joy because we know we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We can’t fix the world, but that’s okay, because God doesn’t ask us to. All he asks us to do is love each other sacrificially, just as he loved us. Concordia’s identity has been formed through people who have known God’s love. Let’s spread that blessing to a world that needs it.
To learn more, donate, or get involved, click on the link below:
Campus Ministry at CUW
To learn more about student ministry opportunities at Concordia University Wisconsin, click on the link below.
—Isaiah Mudge (’23) is pre-seminary student majoring in Philosophy/Theological Language. He is the Service to Milwaukee Branch Coordinator for the CUW Campus Ministry Leadership Team and is planning to attend the Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, next year.