Relief efforts have poured into Haiti during the past year, but much work remains. Indeed, thousands of children are still starving in the small Caribbean nation.
The 22,000-member NorthRidge Church is aiming to fill some hungry bellies with its Million Meals campaign this weekend. NorthRidge Church has partnered with Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding starving children.
"We don't want to be just known as that large church, but as that generous church, says NorthRidge Senior Pastor Brad Powell.
We want to be a church that follows the example God gave usto be driven by compassion to give our best, to give generously."
Powell challenged his congregation in early January to come up with 5,000 volunteers to pack the million meals. In less than three weeks, church members had filled all of the vacancies. More than 5,000 volunteers from the Plymouth-based church will work Friday through Sunday to pack food specifically designed to save the lives of severely malnourished children.
"Why do we do this?" Powell asks rhetorically. "It's really a part of our DNA at NorthRidge. One of our values states that the church most visibly evidences the love of Christ by ministering with compassion and care to the poor, sick, hurting, lonely, rejected and forgotten people of the world."
Feed My Starving Children ships meals to nearly 70 countries around the world. Each meal costs only 19 cents to produce.
Powell noted that $70 can feed a child for an entire year. But NorthRidge church isnt stopping its community outreach with meals for starving Haitian children.
"At the regional level, we'll work with soup kitchens, City Mission and Orphan Care, among others, Powell says. Internationally, we have been to Haiti and India and are continuing to make investments in needy areas around the world.