(Today’s guest post is by Jennifer Tucker. She and her wonderful family participated in International Cupcake Kids Day 2014.)
2.5 million orphans in Uganda alone. Countless children all over the world are abandoned, orphaned, sold, abused, neglected. There are so many who need help. So many who are hurting. The problem is so big, so widespread, so overwhelming. What in the world in all of the world can our family do? How in the world can we even make a tiny dent in the needs that seem so deep and so big?
Over a year ago, a friend shared Sixty Feet’s Facebook page, and I started reading about the children in Uganda that they serve. I read about children, about babies, locked up and neglected in these rehabilitation centers that they have found. Children chained to windows. Babies malnourished and unsupervised, living in their own urine. It seemed impossible, places like this. It broke my heart.
But there are so many suffering people, so many hurting children, all over the world. There are so many organizations out there trying to help. We can’t help them all. We don’t have that much to give. What good will it really do?
These are the thoughts that ran through my head as I struggled with seeing a need that was too big, too impossible, to fix.
I believe the disciples felt the same way when they looked out at the huge crowd of over 5,000 hungry families. There were a lot of people, and they all needed food. So the disciples asked Jesus to “send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” (Matthew 14:15)
But Jesus said, “You feed them.” (Mark 6:37)
The disciples responded, “With what?…We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people.” (Mark 6:37) In other words, they basically told Jesus there’s no way, the problem is too big and they don’t have enough resources to meet a need of that size. All they could see was what they didn’t have…they didn’t have enough, and it would take too long to get enough.
But Jesus replies, “How much bread do you have? Go and find out.” (Mark 6:38)
The disciples come back and say, “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” (John 6:9)
But what good is that?
Oh, how I can relate to these disciples here. They tried to tell Jesus they couldn’t feed all these people. They didn’t have enough. And even after they found out exactly how much they had, they only realized even more clearly that there was no way to feed everyone with the little bit that they could collect. What good was it? The size of the resources in their hands was just so very small and insignificant compared to the massive size of the problem in front of them.
What good is what we have when it’s not nearly enough to even begin to make a difference?
But then Jesus says, “Bring them here.” (Matthew 14:18)
Jesus doesn’t even address what they don’t have, or how much they can’t do because of it. He simply tells His disciples to bring Him what they do have.
Yes, there are needs. There are big, heart-breaking problems all over the world. These problems are too big, too impossible, for any of us to fix. Jesus knew there were too many people in that crowd for His disciples to feed, and yet He told them to feed them. Jesus knows that the problems in this world – the abandoned and imprisoned children, the hurt and the abused and the orphaned – are too numerous and too overwhelming for us to fix. And yet He tells us to “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.” (Psalm 82:3 NLT)
So what do we do?
We give Him what we have. We hand over our loaves and fishes.
Because when we take what we have and we bring it to Jesus, it multiplies. And our small little lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish can feed thousands and thousands, with leftovers!
Our family experienced this first-hand when we did our cupcake stand this year with Cupcake Kids. This was our first time doing a cupcake stand, and we honestly didn’t know what to expect or how it would work or if we would even make much money at all. But we were looking for ways as a family that we could reach outside our own four walls and help others. We wanted to find a way to intentionally and purposefully teach our children that they could make a difference, and that the world is so much bigger than our North American perspective…that we are so very blessed, and that we are blessed for a purpose. We are not blessed so that we can hoard it up and keep it to ourselves, but so that we can be a blessing. God says, “I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).
There are big overwhelming needs all over this broken and hurting world. There are lots of great organizations doing lots of amazing things. Our family can’t do it all, we can’t help everyone. But that doesn’t give us an excuse to do nothing. Quite the opposite. God has given us a sack of loaves and fishes, and we can’t just keep it to ourselves when we are surrounded by hungry people.
So we chose to support Sixty Feet this month through Cupcake Kids. We love Cupcake Kids for multiple reasons. We love the work that Sixty Feet is doing in Uganda…it touches our hearts. We love that 100% of everything we give goes directly to the efforts over there. And we especially love that the focus of Cupcake Kids is on getting kids involved in the effort, allowing them to be the change-agents and part of making a difference. Plus, we found that the whole process was just plain fun! And all the resources that were provided, from graphics and signs to decorations and little cupcake toppers, they made it so EASY to pull the cupcake stand together.
And so we picked a Saturday in May and we set out all our loaves and fishes, in the form of over 250 cupcakes, on tables in our front yard. We gave what we had – we invested as much as we could into cupcake supplies, we gave our time and energy to bake and decorate and hang signs. And then we got to sit back and watch as car after car drove up, and as family after family came and bought cupcakes. We don’t live in a big fancy subdivision. We don’t have a ton of traffic on our little road. But we did what we could. We gave what we had. And God multiplied it, right in front of our eyes. We were able to turn around and write a check to Sixty Feet for so much more than we could have dreamed, more than we ever could have done on our own.
So what good will it do? When there’s a problem so big, a need so overwhelming, and what we have seems so very small? What good is what we have when it’s just not enough?
It’s good enough. Because God is all good, and He makes all things good, and anything in His hands is always enough.
So we give what we have, we do what we can, as much as we can, knowing He can take our “not enough” and make it into more than enough…He can make the impossible possible.
Even a few cupcakes, in the hands of Jesus, can be multiplied to help beautiful precious children across the world. Our family learned that this month through Cupcake Kids. And we can’t wait to do it again!
(You can find Jennifer online at her blog, Little House on the Circle.)