VERY exciting news! I have made contact with the organization Danette Childs directed me to! And this means we have a GOAL!
The name of the organization is Reach Now International, and I've been put in contact with Bill Meyer. He responded to my email in an amazingly timely manner, and has given me a very hopeful and possible plan! Reach Now packs and ships 40ft containers full of highly nutritious food-pack meals to countries in need of hunger relief. These containers hold 270,864 meals - that's a LOT of food! Bill has told me that they have the food, and could ship it virtually ASAP, the only issue is raising the money for shipping. Shipping one container can cost between $10,000-$13,000. But this IS a reachable amount! In fact, if we look at one container costing $13,000, that would make each meal cost LESS THAN 5 CENTS!
This is SO encouraging for me to hear, and it makes this whole desire to serve the people even more of a reality. And it is possible that shipping more than one container could happen as well. I may be reaching for the moon right now, but I truly believe that ANYTHING is possible with Christ. I was talking with one of my professors today and he encouraged me to not turn this into a guilt-trip to inspire giving, making people see starving children and think "Oh, this is so terrible, and it's the least I can do!" This is, in fact, harder than it sounds. Guilt is such an easy tool for motivation. But I'm praying about this and I think opportunities are opening up to make it a method of worship and service, not a guilty-giving trip.
Someone I was talking to today made an excellent point that in a commercialistic culture like the USA, simply getting people to donate is difficult. Giving money does not give people the gratification that other things do... like SHOPPING! So, I think we may need to set up shop... selling trinkets and key chains for $2-$5 would make a lot of money. I've talked to my mom, who is in Niger at the moment, and have asked her if she could send these sorts of things to me. We'll see how this works out... Also, I was given the idea that collecting bottles and other recyclable items would be a VERY easy way to raise cash for this cause. Trash to cash... catchy isn't it?
Also, I'm going to contact the director of the Film program here on campus. They have the ability to email all the film students and ask if anyone is interested in working on this project with me. I have pictures... and a general idea of what I want done. I simply lack the skills and resources, (and patience, and time, and other things...) to do it by myself. I've found a song that I think is perfect for this video - 'Something's Gotta Change' by Josh Wilson. I'll put a link or something up so you can hear it for yourselves.
Praise God for his faithfulness! It's so comforting to know that he KNOWS about the hunger and problems in Niger ALREADY, and that's he's a part of this whole process. By giving, and working to help his children, we are serving and worshiping him - things I was so timely reminded of in my Social Justice class today. Praise GOD and all glory and honor be to him through the work of our hands and obedience to his commands. Please continue to pray for this whole process, and for the people in Niger already.