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Who are the hungry

Mark Robinson

  • There are millions of us!


There are millions of us,
Men and women who are hungry,
In pain and feeling a sense of despair
Who need food, healthcare, shelter, community and care
And for whom Christ died…

And so, who are we?
who are the hungry?

We find God in the most unexpected places and often at inconvenient times.

Living in Brazil was a major learning experience for me. I struggled with the reality of a severe divide between those that have and those that have not.
Struggled to appreciate, that there were two worlds in that country. Two prison systems, one for people who had university degrees and one for people without.
In some places a beautiful well-appointed tree-lined street with decorated sidewalks, for the rich and the adjoining street a favella, a shantytown of cardboard, rough unpainted concrete, tin sheeting and any other material that would help to keep the elements out.

So I am not surprised to see the unrest taking place across Brazil today. People who cannot afford some of the basic necessities; are they the hungry? These people are now fighting for their rights.  There were times in Brazil, when things got serious and there were signs of trouble, the government would simply host a football tournament, and that would appease the people, because for many in Brazil football is worshipped. And I wondered who are the hungry?

Today the old tactics are not working, people have decided at last to stand up! Are these people the hungry?

Campinas, where my family and I lived was a small city in São Paulo, and people would come to our gate to ask for food, sometimes for money and occasionally for clothes.
Sometimes for the most basic of things. What we noticed is that they would come directly to our house.

One day one of our neighbours came over to our house to assure us that he had noticed that we were sometimes being disturbed by people asking for food and other things. He pointed out that our mistake was giving to the very first person that asked. Now my Portuguese was never any good but he explained that: - from the very first time that you give to someone who begs, they leave a mark somewhere on your property to tell others that here is a house where you will get something if you ask. Once that mark is there, people will keep coming.

And reflecting on that experience, I’ve asked myself
Who are the hungry that Jesus speaks about in Matthew’s Gospel?
Who are the hungry?

Man waiting at bus stop

The people who came to my gate, are they the hungry? They recognised that they were in need and went seeking bread.
They went seeking bread…are they the hungry?

I wondered at my neighbour’s frustration at having these people, these others walking along his street. He urged me to clean the mark off my wall. He was disgusted at this seemingly criminal act of approaching someones home to beg for food and singling out certain houses to approach? Is my neighbour the hungry? Who are the hungry?

Putting language barriers aside, I tried to explain that we were not too troubled at having people come to our gate, but I was not able to convince him. My words were not reassuring. If I am unable to speak the truth of God to my neighbour, am I the hungry?
Needing to be fed on the word of God in order to help my neighbour? Am I the hungry?




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