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Relieving Hunger 5,000 At A Time



In Angola we at Kalukembe Hospital were not equipped to provide hunger relief. Rather, we were consumed with managing measles, treating tuberculosis, and caring for people loosing limbs from land mines. But when the rain didn’t come crops withered and hungry people nevertheless gathered outside our doors. So my Swiss neighbors and I made a vat of soup from corn meal and cabbage. The first day we carried outside the vat the throng sprang to their feet and rushed forward waving their bowls and cups. In the ensuing chaos, the soup spilled and everyone drifted away, hungry and dejected.




The next day the throng returned again, more hungry and with greater anticipation of food. As I contemplated how to avoid recurrent chaos, I recalled the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000. Read it here in Mark 6:30-44. Jesus instructed his hungry crowd to sit down into groups. I suspect I know why: crowd control. So I appointed a local leader, who gathered the  people into small groups and then lead them up to the soup one-by-one until everyone was fed. Thankfully, within six weeks the rain returned and hunger was abated.

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