Friday, 21 September 2007

A hand-full of rice

How can a church help people with HIV/AIDS?

There are many ways, and here is one of them.

A number of our families are so impoverished at this point that they are not able to adequate feed themselves.

A number of them choose between food and medicine. Some don't even have the choice.

One of the ways that Jeevan Sahara Kendra seeks to help build links between churches and families affected with HIV is through the "Handfull of Rice" kits.

In North-East India many churches encourage their members to put at least a handfull of rice aside for God's work every time they cook. This is then collected and given to the church.

We would like to mirror that here.

The idea is simple.

A family prays and decides to commit themselves to a 6-month period of helping out with 'A Handful of Rice".

The family receives a parcel which includes 6 monthly sets of 3 differently-sized paper bags. On each paper bag is a different verse from scripture - reminding us of God's heart for the poor. Along with the bag is a brochure telling about the programme, a book mark, and a drawing by and HIV positive person. Perhaps most importantly, we include a small prayer request folder with the situations described of the HIV affected families who need nutritional support.

For each meal prepared at home, a hand full of food - rice, wheat flower, dal, whatever - is placed in one of the bags. As the family member does this - we urge them to pray for the family that will be blessed through this gift. The result is that not only is food collected - but prayers are give to the Lord on behalf of these dear ones.

At the end of the month the food is collected - we encourage the families to add some fresh vegetables and oil too - and given to the families in need.

This giving can be done personally by the families - which we prefer! Or it can be through the church youth group or through the JSK staff.

The bottom line is that food from our tables is being shared with others. Prayers from our homes are touching others. God's love is being shown in practice.

Pray for us as we get underway with this.

A handfull of rice can go a long way.

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