Friday, January 21, 2011

Looking to the interests of others


Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. -Phil. 2:4
This is meat canning week at the MCC Great Lakes facility in Goshen, Ind. In nine days, 1,500 volunteers will cut up, cook and can almost 80,000 pounds of turkey for MCC to distribute to hungry families around the world. Last year, for example, 33 tons of turkey and beef were sent to earthquake victims in Haiti.
Yesterday, I met the committee of six that oversees this work in Goshen. They represent a broad spectrum of Mennonites and Amish in the community. I was told that likely 90% of the volunteers are from the Amish and the more conservative groups in the community.
I was overwhelmed as I entered the cutting room. At long tables, maybe 100 people, most of them Amish, were cutting up turkey thighs to prepare them for cooking. Animated conversation was certainly not getting in the way of industriousness as the work quickly progressed.
These volunteers are responding to a need, and doing it gladly. This week, while the canning work was still happening, a truck came to load skids of boxed cans of meat, each labeled, "in the name of Christ," so that they couuld be shipped to Colombia where the cans of meat are desperately needed.
In the past year, similar shipments of canned meat were designated for North Korea, El Salvador and the Ukraine. In the Goshen community, these volunteers will raise over $140,000 to buy the meat and send it on its way.
The Apostle Paul says to the Christians in Philipi, look to the interests of others, not just to your own. For me, in this meat canning project, my conservative brothers and sisters in this community are demonstrating what Paul meant. Thanks be to God!

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