Feed the Hungry and Be Fulfilled

We did not choose to be born in America. I could have been born in Uganda. Or I could have been born in Haiti. I respect that I was born in America.

But we weren’t born here because we’re lucky. We were born here because we are blessed.

We are blessed to be born in a country where we have freedom and prosperity. We are blessed to have the opportunities that freedom and prosperity make possible. I know some people think we’re not prosperous. We hear a lot of concern about the economic crisis. But unless you’re making less than four dollars a day, you’re making more money than 90% of people in the world make.

loaves and fishesI can guarantee that people in third world countries are not looking at us and saying “Oh, poor America.” They’re not doing that. We’re in economic crisis and they’re fighting to get here! Even if you’re homeless in America, you’ll find water that’s better than what they’re drinking in parts of Uganda! Maybe there are Ugandans or Haitians that say, “If I have to be homeless and all I can do is drink water, I might as well be homeless in America and drink good water. This water I’m drinking now is killing me.”

Thanks to our abundance, we have an opportunity to help. That’s why we’re so blessed. I think that God looks at all His children and says, “Those of you in this part of the world are doing very, very well. But there’s a part of Me over here that is not.” When you don’t help out with the part of God that is not doing all that well, you’re basically turning your back on Him. You’re saying, “You know what? I’ve got my own thing to do.” You’re becoming selfish. And selfishness is not of God.

Essentially, everybody has a broken spirit. Whether you are the richest man in the world or not, you still need the love of Jesus. You still need to be saved. You still need to have the blood of Jesus on your life. And when you share the love that is shared in feeding someone who is hungry, you have done the act of Jesus. That’s where Jesus says, “You have not only fed me, you have been me.” And I think that is so important to understand.

Jesus went to the people that were hungry. He took a couple of loaves and a few fish and He fed five thousand people who were hungry. And He did it for such a simple reason. He did it because they were hungry!

And when He was here, He said, “I am It. I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one gets to the Father except through me. I am Truth, and truth shall set you free.” And if you’re going to turn your back on Him, and you don’t care about the person that’s hungry, then your mind’s not in the right spot. You’re actually doing the exact opposite of what’s going to fulfill you.

Selfishness is very shallow. Pridefulness is very shallow. Making sure that you are taken care of is actually a shallow life. But when you take care of somebody else, you have created joy. You have put a smile on somebody else’s face. When you feed other people, you don’t feel hungry. Not at all. You are fulfilled. You don’t feel hungry because you didn’t need to be hungry. You were fulfilled by helping others who were hungry.

Taking care of somebody else will satisfy your soul. And I think that is the greatest thing ever.

Blessings to you. See you Thursday.

One Million Meals

Million Meals

Whitworth University students invite you to come alongside us in an exciting endeavor; one that has never been done before.

Who: Whitworth University students, faculty and staff, Gonzaga students, and the greater Spokane community, along with Generation Alive.

What: One million meals will be packaged. Each meal contains rice, vegetables, soy protein and vitamins.

When and Where: May 3, 2014 at Whitworth University.

How: Raising $250,000 and gathering support of 2,000+ volunteers.

To volunteer on May 3, please sign up here. For volunteer information, please e-mail aevans14@my.whitworth.edu.

Why: Hunger is a serious issue in Spokane. According to Generation Alive, there are around 90,000 people who are food insecure in Spokane County—in our neighborhoods, on our campuses, in our city. Whitworth acknowledges the fact that it is part of the Spokane community. We have the resources and the manpower to give to the greater Spokane community, and we are contributing with excitement, passion and joy.

To donate and help this amazing endeavor simply CLICK HERE.

Selfless Like Jesus

There’s no better way to reflect God’s love than by helping someone in need. Why is this the best way? Because you have to be selfless to help someone in need. In other words, you have to be like Jesus.

Jesus! When He came down, man, everything He did was a selfless act. He served everybody! He didn’t have to. He didn’t have to do any of the things that He did when He came here. He didn’t even have to leave heaven. It was the ultimate selfless act for Him come down here.

Can you imagine what He must have been thinking? Continue reading

The Holiness of Success

Sometimes people wonder what keeps me focused on social justice. They ask me, “What makes you do all this for other people?” Well, I do it because I care about other people. I love them, and I love the God that created them. It’s the same God that created me. He saved my life! So I want to help save others.

I’m focused on success for the same reason. I focus on success because I want to achieve something, not only for myself, but for those who do not have. I’m talking about those who do not have food, or clean water, or a mom and dad to love them, or even basic freedom.

I’d love to see that same approach to success take root in the world on a global scale. Continue reading

Your Neighbor is Hungry!

When I first started learning about the love-your-neighbor-as-yourself mentality, my spirit grabbed it. I mean, I was really excited. I said, “This is it!”

But then when God started teaching me about poverty, I really started digging. I’ve been researching poverty ever since. Poverty is a whole world of interconnected causes and consequences. The more I learned, the more I understood poverty’s complications, and the more I understood how people get trapped in it. And I could feel myself shifting.

I used to look at a homeless guy and say, “Man, you know what, how about you just go get a job. Shave, and go get a job at McDonald’s. It’s not that hard.” That’s how I used to look at it. I had no compassion. Continue reading

Imagine the Success of Love

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Matthew 14:16-20

In the early years of my baseball career, I was not fulfilled. I was not fulfilled as long as I was just saying, “I’m a Christian,” and then going and playing baseball. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t understand my purpose for being here on this earth. I didn’t understand, because my purpose is not to be a baseball player. Continue reading

Finding Jesus in the Hearts of Kids

If you watched Saturday’s video, you’ll know that we had a Something to Eat event in early December. It was a huge deal for me. It was hard to be away from my family, and hard for my wife since she was alone with our three little boys. But I asked God, and God covered us, man. Her parents came to help, and she flew in to see me.

We had over 400 kids packaging meals that day, to send to Haiti, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. We held the event at Cesar Chavez Middle School, in East Palo Alto. The kids were middle school and high school age, plus there were some families that came in with their kids and volunteered to help. We had kids from the College Track program too. We had a whole spectrum. It was really cool.

There were four or five shootings just in the last month in East Palo Alto, and nineteen murders on the year. It’s a very high gang area. And so we saw something awesome that day. We saw these kids come out and show that they still want to love somebody. They showed that they want to find joy in something. This was Jesus. Continue reading

Selfless Like Jesus

There’s no better way to reflect God’s love than by helping someone in need. Why is this the best way? Because you have to be selfless to help someone in need. In other words, you have to be like Jesus.

Jesus! When He came down, man, everything He did was a selfless act. He served everybody! He didn’t have to. He didn’t have to do any of the things that He did when He came here. He really didn’t even have to leave heaven. It was the ultimate selfless act for Him come down here.

Can you imagine what He must have been thinking? I can! I’m sure it was something like, “I have to come to this little planet here, and help these people? You’re telling me that I need to come here, to this planet, where they’re going to deny me, persecute me, judge me, run me to the edges of cliffs, and try to kill me all the time? Uh, really? That’s real fun.” You know?

He knew it was going to be hard times for Him, but He did it. It was a selfless act.

He looked at coming here and said, “You know what? I love these people, man! This is why God, my Father, created life. He created life for the purpose of relationship. And I’m going to go down there and reestablish that relationship. I’m going to restore it. I’m going to feed the hungry, and I’m going to set the captives free.”

It feels good to feed the hungry. Ask these Whitworth University students, who took a day last fall and packaged meals for the hungry.

And that’s where I think Matthew 25 comes in. That’s where Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. You know the parable. “When I was hungry, you fed me. When I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was in prison, you visited me.”

That’s huge! Think about it. It’s so big! “When I was hungry, you fed me.”

He was selfless to come here, and He promises to remember every one of our selfless acts. We may not understand why there is hunger in the first place. I don’t think we can truly understand why, because it’s not our call, it’s God’s. But that shouldn’t paralyze us, because we do have a calling. We’re called to be selfless like Jesus.

Jesus was selfless to come here, and He did it because He loves us. He shows us how to do the same thing. He shows us how to be selfless just like Him, and He inspires us to do it with love. “When I was hungry, you fed me.”

And here’s the greatest thing of all. When we’re selfless like Jesus, out of love we find fulfillment. Being selfless like Jesus brings the fulfillment that we crave. We may not even know we crave it, but we discover that we do, just as soon as we experience it. Fulfillment in Jesus is exactly what our souls crave.

And when you can say that you helped someone who was hungry by giving them something to eat? That’s when you’ll know.

A Giving Spirit

A big shout-out to Chris Haft of MLB.com for writing a really flattering and well-timed article about my efforts to be a man after God’s own heart. In a piece headlined Affeldt’s giving spirit lasts year-round, Chris wrote about our upcoming Something to Eat event in Redwood City on December 3. Here’s an excerpt:

Now Affeldt is directing his attention and passion toward “Something to Eat.” Approximately 400 students — members of Generation Alive, the non-profit organization Affeldt founded — will gather in Redwood City, Calif., on Dec. 3 to package meals for the Kenyans. Affeldt intends to fly in from his home in Spokane, Wash., to assist in the effort. Northern California Urban Development, based in East Palo Alto, will partner with Generation Alive to further the cause.

Affeldt’s proud of the volunteers for Generation Alive, a group formed to empower young people through active service. Many of the students come from disadvantaged backgrounds, yet recognize the need to help others.

“It’s an awesome sight to see in a world that seems so selfish at times,” said Affeldt, 32. “You see kids serving people just out of purely wanting to make a difference.”

It’s a great piece. Chris nailed it. Read the full article here.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the King of Kings, I’ve been reflecting on the purpose of life.  You know, why we’re here.  I’ll be writing about this between now and Christmas.  See you Tuesday.

Something to Eat

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Last week I wrote that we’re supposed to be a church as a whole, a church everywhere in the world. We’re supposed to go out into the communities of the world to figure out who needs help. And then we’re supposed to get together and help!

This is exactly what we’ll be doing in Redwood City, California on December 3, and I would love to meet some of my readers there. Please contact us at Generation Alive to volunteer. We’re going to package 135,000 meals to send to southern Ethiopia, so that starving refugees will have something to eat. Continue reading