Food for My Kin: When Did We See You Hungry?
Event Location: Flint River Presbytery

Part 1:

Food for My Kin was a Flint River Presbytery overnight youth retreat which focused on raising awareness on world hunger and food insecurity. There were 8 youth in total and 6 Adults who attended the event. There were two churches involved. The youth from the two churches formed friendships and expressed interest in meeting again.

Youth in grades 6-12 arrived on Friday, March 10 and were treated to a Middle-Eastern lentil soup by one of our volunteers, a professional cook. As they ate their meal, they learned about how refugees struggle to survive in the Middle-East, and observed pictures of refugee camps and areas with high poverty. After dinner, we engaged in Session 1 of the “When Did We See You?” PYT Connect resources, adding emphasis that seeing the unseen means acknowledging the struggles of food insecurity and learning how to help.

The following morning, we were served rice porridge, or congee, as we learned about starvation and food insecurity in Asia. Then we engaged in Session 2 of the curriculum. Youth volunteered in Trinity’s local food pantry, where they learned how many members of the community the pantry serves and what it takes to keep the pantry running. Youth wrote messages to food pantry recipients and helped pack bags for distribution.

Closing activities featured an American cuisine entitled “Depression Cookies” which was invented by the great grandparents of our volunteer cook who learned how to survive the Great Depression. We discussed current issues of food insecurity in the United States featuring current statistics. We engaged in Session 3 of the curriculum before departure.

Part 2:

On October 7-8, the youth of Flint River Presbytery set out on a Presbytery-wide mission trip to assist several churches with small tasks and prayer. There were 8 youth in attendance.

We visited First Presbyterian Church of Tifton, GA and cleaned the playground. Then we headed over to Trinity Presbyterian Church of Sylvester where we left a card for the congregation and prayed in the beautiful sanctuary. Next, we prayed at St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Cordele, and helped move a refrigerator at First Presbyterian Church in Cordele. After our work was done, we spent the night with our friends at First Presbyterian Church of Americus, where we studied Matthew 25 together and enjoyed some classic lock-in activities.

The next day, we journeyed to Providence Canyon (also called the Little Grand Canyon) in Lumpkin County, GA. It was truly a wonderful experience. We engaged in worship at a spot overlooking the canyon, fellowshipped during lunch, and then went on a 3-mile hike around the canyon. The sights we saw were truly awe-inspiring. It’s so easy to appreciate the beauty and value in a place like Providence Canyon, but it’s not always easy to “see” and appreciate all God’s children.

Our curriculum (PYT Connect resources) focused on ways we can see and appreciate all, including those who are often overlooked. We could feel God’s love all around us as we learned, fellowshipped, worked, and listened. Many precious memories were made.