“Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed.”  Martin Luther, 16th Century. 

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  Psalm 118:1 

Did your school have a hot lunch program?  What are your memories of that noon meal?  I remember sitting down at the lunch table and reciting the “Come” prayer together.  Our Lutheran school had smiling cooks who placed our food onto our partitioned plastic trays and then we picked up our milk bottles at the end of the line.  There were several children in my school that didn’t like their food to ‘touch’ one another, the green beans should not ‘touch’ the mashed potatoes; I was a ‘mixer’ and enjoyed the blending of the flavors. 

We had five different items each day, always something different.  I don’t have any fond memories of the food that I liked, only the stuff that didn’t hit my taste buds with a pleasant note; canned spinach or peas always struck a sour note in the back of my throat.  They were always a magnet for my gag reflex because of their texture, not their flavor.  I don’t recall ever noticing kids in my school ever going to lunch “hungry” but rather it was just another activity of our day.  The majority of us had breakfast and would eat dinner when we got home and probably another something before we went to bed.  Giving thanks for my lunch didn’t really seem that important, it was always there, just like all the other meals. 

There are 24 plates of rice and beans on the serving table at Bois Marchand which is on the outskirts on the Northern edge of Gonaives.  These plates are ready to be served to one class of children who didn’t have breakfast and when they get home, there won’t be dinner waiting for them and nothing before they go to bed.  When these kids say their prayer before receiving this blessing, you can tell that this is something that really is important to them.  They will eat every grain of rice and every single bean on their plate this day, tomorrow, next week and next month. 

Is there anything in your North American life that brings you to your knees to give thanks for these days?  Six dollars will feed the twenty-four children who received this blessing at their Lutheran school in Bois Marchand in March of last year.  Six dollars won’t even get you into the door of a china buffet to eat food that you probably don’t need, but will provide each of these precious lives with the sustenance that they have been waiting for this day and every day.  The board of directors for Trinity/HOPE and the children of Bois Marchand thank you for your continued prayers and financial support.  

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.  

May God be with you…Jay