Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1058325

Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 25, 2014

I will never forget

By The Rev. Jim Stiles, United Methodist Church | Sep 20, 2013

When I was in seminary I was invited to go to Haiti on an educational trip. When I was first invited to go I said no, I can’t afford it, I don’t feel the need to go. I think I will be going back to Iowa to see my mother and dad. All noble things to say. But my friends kept asking me to go … telling me that it would be life-changing. Though I heard their invitation, I wasn’t moved to go. But they kept inviting me and inviting me until I said, “Yes, I will go.” I did, and I had a life-changing experience.

For I will never forget meeting a woman who had walked miles and miles to get to the hospital with the hope that she would be cared for.

I will never forget the administrator of the hospital saying to us, “Each day I have to make a decision, do I receive her or do I turn her away, being that she is unable to pay for the services she needs. But today I am going to put that decision in your hands.”

I will never forget singing “Kum Ba Yah” at midnight, looking down on the city, while feeling a young boy pulling on my pants saying, “Nickel, nickel, nickel.”

I will never forget the look of hunger in his eyes.

I will never forget making the promise to God that I will not forget them, being that they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Thus, each year, as I walk for hunger, I remember them.

Thus, my prayer this year is that on Sunday, Oct. 13, the community of Washington will gather at St. James Catholic Church and take part in the CROP Hunger Walk at 3 p.m.

My prayer is also, following the CROP Hunger Walk, the adults and youth will stay and bag food for Kids Against Hunger.

My prayer is if you choose not to walk for hunger, you will come out and bag food for Kids Against Hunger at 4 p.m.

My prayer is that we as a community will seek to make a difference in the lives of hungry children.

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