REWARD’S STORY, “I was hungry…”
Download the small group resource and find Reward’s story in Week 2.
This week as we journey with those who are hungry, we invite you to a rural village in Zambia, where a small boy is sleeping…
You are five years old, your name is Reward. You wake up to the noise of your sister snoring next to you. You were dreaming of a hot plate of nshima, a porridge-like dish, and flavorful beans but you know it was only a dream and in reality, that dizzy, sick feeling in your stomach will soon set in again.
It wasn’t always this way, you had a mother and father once, until one day they were gone and now your grandparents are the ones looking after you. They try their best to take care of you, your sister and four cousins who are also orphans. You love to run around and play with the other kids in your village, but these days you just don’t have the strength to jump and skip, instead you sit down and draw in the dust with your finger. Some days you feel too sick to go to school and have a hard time focusing in class. You don’t really understand why you feel so tired all the time, but you think it has something to do with the sharp pain in your belly.
Your grandparents notice you and your cousins sitting down instead of playing, so they travel into the bush where the wild animals live. While they’re gone, you and your younger cousins are afraid because you’ve heard stories of bad people coming to harm little children. When your grandparents return, they have thick roots to fill your stomach with, but instead of being full, the roots just end up giving you more stomach pains.
You understand that your grandparents are also suffering from these stomach pains and can’t work in the fields like other parents who have cows and other animals. It makes you sad to think that your whole family is hurting and that there is nothing you can do to help.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” John 6:5-14
Jesus sees that people are hungry and does not turn them away, instead he transforms a small offering into an awe-inspiring ripple of blessing. Let’s discover how Jesus does this in Reward’s life.
One day, a family in the community brings your family goats through a World Vision initiative to help families called ‘Pass On’. You learn that through this project, once your goats have babies, you get to pass on the blessing by giving a goat to other families in the village. That very day you get to drink goat’s milk and your eyes light up with joy.
From that day on, each day brings a new surprise and a new blessing. Now you have energy to play with your friends and focus at school. The milk from your goat is so delicious, other people want to buy it and drink it also! Your grandparents eventually save up enough money from selling goat milk to buy other food and crops they can plant in the field. You never realised one goat could do so much, but soon that goat turns into two, and three, and your family then gives a goat to a nearby neighbour who was hurting like you once were.
The best part of this story is that you, your sister and cousins finally get to go to school and play. You get to learn the answer to all of the questions that you once were too hungry to even think about. Like what makes the trees grow and where does the rain come from? There is no stopping your curiosity. You learn that a single gift from God can multiply beyond your imagination.