What is it?
Having a disease or illness. This can be anything from a cold, cough, stomach ache to serious illnesses that send you to the hospital. If you are healthy, your body is strong enough to fight. If you don’t have clean water, or a safe clean home, or good nutrition for your body than it makes it harder for your body to get well.
One of the types of sickness we talk about a lot is “waterborne disease” this means sickness that comes from not having clean water to drink. Waterborne disease mainly affects children in the developing world (those nations that are still trying to build roads, get electricity to their people, and provide food, water and education for everyone. The US is considered the developed world because we have all of those things for people who live here.) When water isn’t clean than there are all kinds of super small worms, bugs and dirt in the water and it can make people really sick.
Another type of sickness is called “common childhood illnesses” these are the things that we get vaccinated for and sometimes go to the doctor to treat. Diseases like chickenpox, the flu, RSV, whooping cough, or the stomach virus are all examples of common childhood illnesses. Because you are healthy and strong, if you get any of these illnesses, rest and medicine will make you better. For kids in the developing world, the chances of them dying from simple illnesses are much higher because they don’t have access to good food and nutrition to help their bodies fight illness.
What does that mean?
Malnutrition (not enough good foods) puts a child at great risk from dying from common illnesses. Today, by feeding kids, we get to take a stand for children’s health because all children should have the chance to grow and learn.
What does the Bible say about it?
“Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received.” Matthew 10:7-8
John 6:1-15 “After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money[a] to feed them!”
8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
14 When the people saw him[b] do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”[c] 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.”
This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I love it because it shows us a lot about Jesus. First, He was healing the sick and helping people (See in verse 2 where it says there was a big crowd following Jesus because he was healing people.) Jesus sees all these people crowding around them, and He thinks about the fact that they are probably hungry. So He looks at one of His followers, Philip, and asks a question. He asks Philip where to buy bread for so many people? If you look at verse 7 it says that Jesus already had a plan. I think He asked Philip because He wanted Philip to be a part of the solution, and Jesus invited Him into an opportunity to feed a lot of people. Its kind of like when your parents invited you be part of this feeding opportunity as a family. They already had a plan for how they were going to feed people, but they wanted you to be a part too because they wanted you to see how we can take care of people and show love like Jesus did.
Feeding people can help people fight sickness through helping their bodies become strong and healthy.
How to pray?
Pray for kids all over the world who aren’t strong and healthy. Pray for kids who are sick from waterborne disease. Ask God to give them clean water. Pray for kids who are fighting common illnesses but their bodies aren’t strong enough to get better. Ask God to give them strength, health and good food.