God’s Mission to Us: Part 2
Food is a mission.
In 2010, Chef José Andrés saw a need, he envisioned a mission to meet that need, and he developed the means to fulfill his mission. He felt compelled to help relieve the suffering in Haiti after a major earthquake destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure, so he did what he knew how to do: he cooked. While there, he learned how to cook black beans the Haitian way—mashed into a creamy sauce. José discovered that it’s not only important to feed the hungry, it’s essential to learn the local culture and provide comfort—through food—to those who are suffering.
From that experience, José’s relief organization World Central Kitchen was born. Since then, World Central Kitchen has gathered chefs, collected supplies, and organized relief missions around the world. They serve in disaster areas devastated by hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis, war, and volcanic eruptions. From hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and Houston to war-ravaged Ukraine, World Central Kitchen is now bringing their special brand of assistance to those in need on a daily basis. In 2020, they partnered with the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to feed wildfire evacuees at the Conference’s Gladstone Campground.
World Central Kitchen has one mission emphasis: they believe that food is a universal human right. One man, with a passion for suffering humanity, has developed a mission that affects more and more people every day—both those who help, and those who are being helped. As José likes to say, “everyone is a part of World Central Kitchen, they may just not know it yet!”
Food is also part of our ancient history that impacts the deepest part of all of us. The first human couple’s decision to eat forbidden fruit (proclaiming their rebellion and desire to be like God) leaves all of us with the sin problem and a suffering world.
From the moment the serpent tricked Adam and Eve in the garden, God embarked on a mission to save suffering humanity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit put together a rescue plan in case of just such an emergency, and when disaster hit the garden, they implemented that plan.
The Son, in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, came to earth to personally execute the strategy. Jesus’ death on the cross provided a way of escape from sin, suffering and death for all humanity. Their mission now is to get the word out to everyone about the plan of salvation. No one needs to die the second death. God provides the way to heaven through Jesus Christ.
Just as José enlists an army of chefs and other support staff to fulfill his relief mission, so God enlists all of us to bring eternal relief to suffering humanity. From janitors to preachers to potluck organizers to anyone with a smile and a welcoming hand, everyone is a part of God’s mission. They may just not know it yet.
Connecting: Have you ever received aid from a helping agency? How did that material support affect your emotional and spiritual well-being?
Sharing: Matthew 28:19 instructs us to go and make disciples. What does that mean to you personally?
- I need to get on a plane and go serve in an overseas mission field
- I should go to my neighbor and see if they need any help
- I can clean up around my church to make it look presentable and inviting to my community
- I can’t physically do much, but I can support both our local and world-wide mission with my offerings
- I can reflect the character of Christ to others as the Holy Spirit leads me to live by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
Applying: Do you know of a need in your community that is not being fully met? Are there any practical steps that you and your study group can take to help meet that need?
Valuing: How do you respond when you feel God’s urging to “go”? Can you discern when it’s really God’s urging or someone else putting a guilt trip on you? Pray for the wisdom to respond to God without burning yourself out trying to please other people.
~ Chuck Burkeen