In November, we partnered with our friends over at Rice Bowls to encourage churches and ministries to help feed orphans through the Red Bowl Challenge. Rice Bowls feeds over 1,500 happy kids in 52 Christian orphanages across the globe. Through the challenge, we were able to provide 5,560 meals for those orphans. That number is about 1 full month of meals for all of the children living in 2 different orphanages.
In addition to the meals Rice Bowls is giving to orphans, our team also gave a free website to the biggest giver. Ikon Church, lead by Pastor Jason Oesterling in Wadsworth, OH, is our 2012 winner! With their small congregation of 50 people (which includes children) they were able to raise $430.05 from Thanksgiving until Christmas morning. The entire challenge lasted until New Year’s Day, but they decided to end it on Christmas to help turn their hearts toward giving to those in need. Many of the parents in the church encouraged their children to give to the challenge instead of buying a Christmas present.
The Red Bowl Challenge was open to any church, ministry or person who wanted to give to orphans during the holiday season. Although most of those involved were churches, we did have a few individuals step up and give. The following is a precious story that challenged us.
In one of the poorest schools in Dallas-Fort Worth Texas, an elementary school teacher decided to take the challenge with her class. As a believer, the teacher wanted to help her students learn that it is better to give then to receive. The students are poor and the only meals they usually get are breakfast and lunch from the school. Even still, the children were generous and together they gave $40. One day during the challenge a student came up to the teacher and said he didn’t have any money for lunch that day. So the teacher took a few dollars out of the red rice bowl to pay for the meal. When all the students asked why she did that, the teacher replied, “this money is going to help hungry kids and we have someone here who needs it today”. The teacher then told her class that she would add money to cover what the student used, which she did… Lesson learned.
If you would like to join this teacher by helping to feed orphans all year long, Rice Bowls has brown bowls available to order for free. You may order as many bowls as you need at http://ricebowls.org/order. Although the Red Bowl Challenge has passed, you still have an opportunity to give meals. Please pray about what the Lord might have you give.
Here is a video with some of the happy children we were able to feed.