Harvest of Talents for World Hunger — A Radical Use of Resources

Written by Nancy Jett — a reflection on last year’s Harvest of Talents event

My heart is full of emotion as I drive to the church building in early morning darkness. All year long we have planted seeds of motivation and cultivated loving relationships. Now we anticipate the Harvest that only God can provide!

Harvest workers are already busy in the kitchen, preparing delicious meals for the day. Last minute touches are added to the beautiful display of handcrafted items that have been contributed during the week. I am amazed once again at the variety of talents God has given to my church family, and humbled by their willing hearts to serve. We gather to be reminded of the purpose for this day, and to thank God for blessing us with resources to help others.

As the doors are opened to the public, eager guests are reminded to shop generously. Every penny spent will be used to feed the hungry! Buying a floral arrangement could feed a family in Kenya. Purchasing a quilt could provide food for an orphanage in Myanmar. Choosing a knitted baby afghan could keep a child in Haiti from starving. Talented people have donated the fruit of their labors to help alleviate human suffering. They make jewelry, build or refinish furniture, create artwork, and bake delicious pies and breads not to get personal recognition, but because they want to do whatever they can to demonstrate God’s love to the less fortunate.

The fellowship of the day always reminds me of the Old Testament festivals. People travel great distances to participate in this united effort. Friendships are strengthened as we celebrate God’s grace and goodness in our lives. Gratitude is expressed in sacrificial giving. Offerings have been prepared. Musicians lead us in praise. Hospitality is practiced. We feast on an abundance of great tasting treats!

Excitement builds as time nears for the afternoon auction. The auctioneer takes his place and the fun begins. Bidders joyfully compete with one another, knowing we are really working together for a common goal. We are extending our hands to help the poor. The community witnesses radical generosity in action. 100% of the money raised will be given to IDES and used to fund monthly feeding programs during the next year.

My legs are aching and my feet are throbbing as I head for home. My pockets are empty, but my heart is full. I imagine the faces of people in foreign lands who are in desperate need of both physical and spiritual nourishment. I thank God for Harvest workers who have entrusted IDES with resources to help our missionary partners feed the hungry and given them hope! I’m exhausted, but I know the Lord of the Harvest is with me. It’s a good feeling.