I have read the story in the book of John about the young boy who offers Jesus his meager lunch of five loaves and two fishes. Then, Jesus feeds thousands of people who’ve come to hear him teach, miraculously multiplying the boys’ offering. It’s a great story, but I never thought I would see it happen with my own eyes.
I joined the missions team from Bridgeway serving in Haiti at Christmastime. We had prepared a program, including music and a puppet show, to share with the Haitian children. We also served a meal and offered an invitation to know Christ. The turnout was huge, and it was a little chaotic keeping track of kids who lined the stairs and sat in the hallways. Still, I was inspired by the joy I witnessed all around me.
At one event, several children came to the front and performed for the others while we waited for the food to arrive. We also extended a message of salvation and were encouraged to see many children respond to this invitation. When it was time to eat, we thought the 128 meals we’d planned would be enough for the eighty-eight kids registered for this gathering. However, we quickly realized that we had about 160 people in attendance. Imagine my shock when every single person received a meal! No one walked away hungry, and I was reminded how God can multiply our meager offerings to feed His people coming to hear His words.
It was difficult, however, to watch children who chose to save their food instead of eating it. They were likely planning to take it home to their family. Some children even hid their food and asked for more. The need can feel overwhelming, but I witnessed how God can provide when there is simply not enough.
I was grateful for the Bridgeway team, and we ended this busy day with our evening devotional. Many of us had experienced heartbreak after witnessing the day’s events, and we shared honestly with each other. One team member read Psalm 51:1-17, and I was reminded that God accepts our broken spirits and repentant hearts. God can also take this simple offering to bring healing and restoration.