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“He rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.” Psalm 78:24
When Daphne Adhiambo signed up for the 2016 Food Fight MobilePack,™ she didn’t know what kind of food she would be packing.
She arrived at the event with a group from Capital Baptist Church and the orientation video started playing. She saw boxes of MannaPack Rice™ flash across the big screen.
“I know this food!” Daphne said excitedly to the people she was sitting with. “I ate this food!”
‘The Food Really Took us a Long Way’
Daphne, 22, just moved to the United States this January. She grew up in Kenya and first began eating MannaPack during the post-election violence around 2007 and 2008.
“The situation in the Kibera slums was so bad since it was one of the hot spots of violence,” Daphne remembers. “We had an extreme shortage of food and water. We were all just in panic because all we had were sounds of bullets from all over. I thank God we survived.”
Her family received Feed My Starving Children meals through a church in Nairobi that served families affected by HIV/AIDs, widows, orphans and the disabled.
Daphne’s mother raised her six children as a single parent.
“My mom was sick, and she was the breadwinner, so there was no way she could get food for us,” Daphne said.
Her mother was diagnosed with HIV when Daphne was 12.
“The food really took us a long way,” she said.
Growing up, Daphne knew that MannaPacks had protein and they called it meat. She learned at the packing session that what she always called meat is actually soy.
“The combination of rice, ‘meat,’ vitamins and vegetables was very nutritious,” she said. “It gave us hope to face another day.”
‘I’m Excited to do it’
During orientation, Daphne couldn’t stop saying how excited she was to pack the food.
“I can’t wait to get in there,” she said. “I ate this food, and now I’m going to be packing it.”
While packing, Daphne looked around the Dulles Expo Center where the event was held. She said she had no idea that this is how MannaPack is made.
“I’m so excited that so many people have come to do this for poor children, and I’m excited to do it,” she said.
Daphne said that FMSC meals have really changed lives in the slums of Kenya. She saw it first hand.
Daphne came to the U.S. a few months ago to work as a nanny for a family friend named Jennifer that she had met in Kenya. Jennifer worked with the World Bank in Kenya and moved to Washington, D.C. in 2014. She has two children, ages 11 and 12.
Daphne is saving her nanny wages and hopes to enroll at Northern Virginia College to further her education. In Kenya, Daphne was one semester away from earning a diploma in IT.
And now Daphne is a part of FMSC history.
The meal packing session she was a part of did something that has never been done before. They packed more than ONE MILLION MEALS.
She said she is still processing everything that happened at the Food Fight MobilePack.
“You know there is just a way that God does His things and leaves us speechless?” She asked. “I am still speechless until today.”
“While packing the food myself, I was reminded of the ‘manna’ that God provided the children of Israel (Exodus 16),” she said. “The MannaPack served the same purpose as that time in the Bible.”
“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.” –Psalm 146:7
Feed My Starving Children has experienced remarkable milestones this past year and we could not have done this without YOUR faithfulness and Christ at the center of all we do.
Because you gave, because you served, because you chose to act, thousands upon thousands of people around the globe are alive, happy and healthy.
I simply can’t thank you enough,” said Executive Director/CEO Mark Crea. “Through your generosity we will humbly continue to answer the Lord’s call.”
You are the reason FMSC is able to continue fighting for every starving child. Thank you.
See more from the annual report and download the PDF HERE.
Above: The moment the record-breaking number was announced. (To avoid confusion from this photo, the final number actually ended at 5,044,464 meals.)
Nicole is an event team leader for Feed My Starving Children. She was part of the record-breaking event last weekend in Virginia. Here she shares some of her reflections:
I am finally home after spending a week in Virginia as part of FMSC’s largest food packing event.
A lot of records were set (…then quickly broken…), and while those numbers are exciting, it’s the individual stories that are connected to those numbers that give them their meaning.
At the moment it was announced that we had just set the record for the most meals ever packed at an FMSC packing event, I was talking to one of my rice scoopers who told me she had to leave but wanted to share something with me first.
She was exhausted, sweaty and sore (helping to scoop 10,000 pounds of rice will do that to you), but she had a smile of pure joy across her face.
She was telling me how she had eaten these meals in her home country of El Salvador and that they helped give her and her family the strength to move to the United States and make a new life for themselves.
She said that she had recently gone back and helped feed families just like her’s who used to not know where their next meal was going to come from.
She said each smile she saw as she handed over the plates of food was hope being restored and she was so excited to be with us in Virginia to help scoop rice and watch the meals be packed because until then she did not know where the food came from.
It was a full circle moment for her and a moment of realization for myself.
This is why I do what I do.
Not for the high numbers, not for the excitement and self satisfaction in a job well done. It’s to experience these moments. To strip down a 5 million meal event to one person, one story that has been transformed through the goodness and beauty of a loving God.
It all starts with one meal and I am so blessed to be able to see and hear what that one meal can become.
Read more highlights from the 2016 Food Fight event HERE.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
Margarita Komba’s mother left a legacy of giving.
The family moved to the United States from Ukraine when Margarita was about five years old.
“She was a single mom and she had two kids — me and my brother,” she recounted. “She got sick as soon as we came. Her kidneys failed; she couldn’t work full time.”
Margarita, 20, remembers finances being tight as her mother worked part time jobs through her failing health.
“She was always a giving person. She would give the last she had so someone would have enough,” Margarita said. “She knew that God would provide. Even in her sickness, she gave everything she had. She was so generous.”
Her mother passed away last month, but her legacy of giving lives on through her daughter.
‘I Feel Like I Have More Now Than I Did’
Margarita first packed meals at Feed My Starving Children when she was in third grade. She began packing weekly with her youth group after a New Year’s resolution in 2013.
“It has been such a great blessing to me personally, and we have met some great people through our volunteering,” she said.
During her mom’s sickness, God started speaking to Margarita about giving. She picked a few organizations and signed up for monthly giving. Feed My Starving Children was among them.
FMSC’s monthly sustainer program allows you to make a huge impact on hunger by scheduling a regular donation. Your dependable monthly support provides HOPE through food to kids, EVERY DAY.
“The sustaining support that FMSC receives from our monthly donors is an enormous blessing,” said Development Associate Katie Olson. “Knowing that we can depend on the recurring donations ensures that hope is being reached continually and simultaneously through MannaPack food and God’s love for his little ones.”
Margarita has grown in her faith since taking the step to become a monthly donor.
“God has blessed me,” she said. “There has never been a time that I felt like I didn’t have enough. I feel like I have more now than I did.”
Margarita’s prayer is that the Lord would use FMSC to bring physical food, as well as spiritual food to those in need. As she signed in her email to FMSC: “To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (Philippians 4:20)
Read more about the monthly sustainer program HERE.
“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'” – 2 Chronicles 20:15
Last weekend, volunteers in Virginia packed 5,044,464 meals, setting a new Feed My Starving Children record. This group also set and broke new records throughout the event — culminating in 1 million meals packed in a single session!
If you’ve ever packed meals at FMSC, you know how intimidating a goal this BIG can be.
About halfway through the 2016 Food Fight, staff member Sara Peterson shared the Old Testament story of Jehoshaphat with the FMSC team:
It is really important to know that this is NOT our battle. This is God’s battle and He has invited us to be part of it. We can’t fight this battle on our own power and God doesn’t expect or want us to fight it on our own — this is God’s battle.
God created the heavens and the Earth. He never loses. He’s got this. Not only does he invite us to do battle with him, he is going to let us share in the victory!!
So then, what’s our part in this? What are we supposed to do?
God continues in verse 17, “You will NOT need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.”
Basically SHOW UP. Show up and stand firm. God then tells Jehoshaphat exactly where to go. God has taught us what he wants us to do. Jesus showed us how to love our neighbor. He told us to feed widows and orphans. And He told us to share the Good News with others.
Virginia, YOU showed up.
Thank you for helping us make FMSC history. The meals you packed have the potential to feed nearly 14,000 children every day for an entire YEAR.
The meals YOU PACKED will be shipped to Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Guyana.
*Story continues after video and photos