Beyond This Hunger

Fresh perspectives

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Early in the morning, I was still thinking about how self-absorbed I was yesterday. I felt so bad. Then, I got busy preparing to go to an event.

Day 7 was a little hard for me. Jocelyn, one of the ambassador and I went to a Back to School event where they provided different resources for kids going back to school. Although it was not as hot as the previous weeks, the sun was intense.

After 2 hours being under the sun, I started to feel weak and dizzy. Jocelyn encouraged me to eat some cut fruits that she brought for the crowd. I immediately felt better. How could the food insecure walk in the middle of summer to go to work, to a pantry or do errands? What about the kids who did not have dinner the night before plus no breakfast the following day? How could they focus on their classes? What about the elderly who are on fixed income, deciding which they’re going to spend their money between prescription medicine and healthy food?

At the event, I met different community agencies. There were a few ladies from the same church who wanted their church to get involved in setting up Missional Food Pantry. Here’s a short video clip of one of the interviews that day.

Later that day, we had a celebration dinner for the week with several Ambassadors. We shared stories and testimonials. It was great to hear their hearts as they express their feelings beyond being hungry and in expanding their awareness about what’s happening in the neighborhoods.

I shared with everyone that I and a few other ambassadors will continue the challenge of eating one meal a day for the next 7 days until August 4th. For me, I would like to go deeper than experiencing how it feels to be hungry but to get me closer to God as I rely on His strength to continue on. You will hear more about this journey beyond being hungry for 7 days.

Thank you for all the ambassadors, the donors and for you who have supported us in various ways.

God bless you,
Merlin

Merlin GonzalesFresh perspectives
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Unaware

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After our interview at Ch. 8, I had headed back home to finish my work day. I was not my usual self. I felt cranky and frustrated. I shared with others that too much passion without much compassion is not good. Passion is good if directed the right way., otherwise, our passion makes us unaware of others. Our passion becomes our master, not realizing how we act or treat others.

Day 6 was another day of revelation about myself. Where ever I am, on my way home, working and meeting with people, who and what do I see? Do I remind myself that God created people in His image. That whatever we go through, God is watching over us. God holds us in the palm of His hands.

Do I listen what others are saying? Do I see what God is showing me or I just go through the day and not noticing the needs of others. I am not talking about now that I am hungry, but in my daily walk with God. Am I insensitive with others because my mind is focus on my task. Do I miss to treasure my experiences in life?

Hunger could help us to notice on what’s important in life, even the small things that seem insignificant. Do I even realize what others are actually telling me? Am I aware how I treat others or myself? Did I miss what God is doing? Am I aware how I live?

Merlin GonzalesUnaware
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Life could change in an instant

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Day 5: It’s hard to imagine that my body has been able to sustain having just one meal a day for 5 days!

Nineteen hours after my last meal, I walked to a bus stop. I missed the first bus, but I did not have the energy to run after it, so I waited for the next one. I wanted to share in the experience of those who are hungry and do not have a personal vehicle.

I was very late for my appointment in downtown Indy. Later in the day, I had the privilege of interviewing Rocky, a Dessert Storm veteran. He was sitting at a street corner asking for help. My friend, Todd, asked if he could bring him to a restaurant for lunch, but the veteran refused since his feet were aching. We later found out that someone had stolen his shoes. He ended up with a pair of shoes that were too small for his feet. One of my Facebook friends saw the live posting and offered to give him shoes.

Todd went to Jimmy John’s to buy lunch for Rocky. Meanwhile, I started the interview. You will see the live Facebook posting here: https://www.facebook.com/merling1/videos/10155672500228297/

Rocky’s life changed drastically when he retired from the Armed Forces. He said that 75% of the homeless are veterans. He also mentioned that in a certain area referred to as Tent City, all the homeless were veterans. He told me that some people spit on his face and throw beer cans, but he does not retaliate. I was shocked by his answer. I know I have a short fuse when I’m hungry. I realize that it’s much easier for us to say we forgive our enemies than when we actually experience it in the streets. Rocky has a strong faith in God, who sustains him. He can be calm in the middle of a storm. I have a lot to learn from him. I prayed for him afterwards.

On my way back home, his words stayed with me, “Anyone’s life could change in an instant.” Yes, many people are only a paycheck away from being evicted from their homes and/or from suffering hunger. I feel so fortunate that I don’t have to sleep in shelters or beg in the streets for my next meal. Thank you God!

Merlin GonzalesLife could change in an instant
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TO START THE DAY

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TO START THE DAY hungry means that I’ll be thinking about food all day. What does that mean I WON’T be thinking about? When I’m hungry I think about myself so I won’t think about others. When I’m hungry I am consumed by what I will eat, not what I will think. When I’m hungry I think about my next meal, not my next job. When I’m hungry I think about my stomach, not my soul. I have been hungry like this for one week; I can’t imagine being hungry like this for one year. Donate to Faith, Hope & Love not because you know how daily hunger feels but because others do. https://www.fhlcommunity.org/beyond-this-hunger/

Mark EckelTO START THE DAY
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