Friends & Partners,
Janey and I are now beginning our 4th month back in Guatemala. We have returned for a season but have much work to do to oversee and expand the ministry of Charlie's Lunch in other regions of the world, expressly Mexico, India and the Philippines and anywhere else God would open the door for us with personnel and resources. What God gave us in such a unique way back in September of 97” through the legacy of Charlie our sons life and testimony of Jesus love for the poorest of the poor to feed them and train them regarding a promising future is really quite amazing. It's like the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. In asking for a lunch to feed the mass of people who were hungry having been listening to His teaching for 3 days, he took the little boys lunch (John 6:6) and having given thanks, He blessed it and gave to His disciples to pass it out among the thousands gathered there that day.
In a somewhat similar way Janey made a lunch for a young boy knocking at our door begging for bread. While she put together a lunch for him and feeling the grief of Charlie's absence, she said, “He didn't need it anymore now that he is in heaven but this one at the door needs Charlie's Lunch”. Actually that boy was 7 years old whose name also was “Carlitos”. That lunch followed with the SEED of the testimony of Charlies life who throughout his life was a growing young evangelist as he shared his goods, his testimony and compelled other neighborhood kids to come to church with him, making friends everywhere he went, hospital, school, neighborhood wherever it was to share the LOVE OF HIS SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. Today thousands of children have both received and are receiving Charlies Lunch, every other day and in some cases every day to meet a real need to eat and have the daily strength to grow and learn in their young lives. While gathering to eat they learn the Word of God and are being discipled so that as they grow they are being transformed and are making good decisions to live for Jesus so that it may go well with them.
We estimate 20,000 children have been a part of Charlies Lunch long term from ages 2 to 13 years of age and many for 10 years of their lives. At least 3 to 4 generations or sets of children have passed through the Charlie's Lunch ministry with young people moving out at 13 years of age moving into the church youth group where they assist, help and teach the younger ones in the ministries of the church. The growth and opportunities to be a part of a local church and the dynamic of moving into the youth of the local church has been transformational not only for them but their parents and families involved. In turn the church has grown. It's a phenomenal explosive growth that we in Charlie's Lunch Ministries see repeatedly.
Having just begun our 4th month here in Guatemala after 17 years having left at least to live back in the USA to build and expand Charlie's Lunch we are finding living here is similar yet with certainly some adjustments even for us. Such would be the infrastructure of the country for facilitating ease of daily errands and traffic flow as well as increased poverty due to the continuing expanding growth from what used to be in our 2 terms here in the 90's of 12 million has seen an increase by 20%. It's good to see both the growth of churches and the gospel reaching hundreds and thousands more people but at the same time poverty has grown and expanded in hardship areas around the capital city where people are desperate to find jobs as well as rural areas especially where farming is hit each year by dryer weather that affects the health and sustainability of a dependable crop thus affecting the farmers and agricultural laborers in the hundreds of rural communities in the mountains and hills throughout. The need to help struggling PASTORS who are faithful to preach and teach a congregation but don't receive any sustenance so to speak of of any value to support themselves or a family remains difficult. Charlie's Ministries is a ministry to feed the hungry in the pockets of poverty throughout the country and well suited for it because once these churches become a hotbed of assistance to the local church and the Pastor, the work thrives immediately and meets a great need. In turn we see the church empowered to do with this partnership the logical outcome of a community coming to the church and as such a transformation among the people in the slum, village, city or town begins to take place. It is also long lasting because of this change in the hearts of the people led by capable Pastors who understand the value of what it is to truly be a lighthouse in the community and working for meeting its needs. To all who Partner with us to support feeding hungry children and those who support funding an entire feeding center in a given community with Charlie's Lunch thank you.
To date we have seen: 20,000 kids discipled every other day as they become a long term part of Charlies Lunch. Most of the children enrolled due to their extreme low economic possibilities in their homes and literal lack of proper nutrition remain in the program at minimum 5 years constantly learning the Word of God through scripture memory as well as learning the great stories of the Bible participating in the weekly services, events and programs of the church.
It's truly amazing that the fruit that has come from these feeding centers with the local church has seen young people move into good jobs, even leadership in the local church and in many cases making decisions to begin the path of studies to be Pastors and Missionaries just like their mentor Pastors are doing. Who knew that a LUNCH given regularly to one who is hungry could produce such a harvest for the Kingdom of God. Without any doubt your partnership with us in this effort is making a huge difference in a community that thrives and becomes a hotbed for great possibilities. Thank you for joining us and SHARING LUNCH......CHARLIE'S LUNCH!