Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Charlie's lunch; please read and help
This is their story:
Sam and Janey Stewart’s son Charlie was born with a serious heart defect. It was only through the work of brilliant doctors and many miracles that he survived birth. And though Charlie was physically handicapped by his heart condition, he remained one of the most spiritually alive kids you could ever meet. He was a beacon of joy who loved to give.
On his first day of kindergarten, 5-year-old Charlie Stewart went to school proudly carrying the lunch his mom had made. When Janey went to check on him at lunchtime, she found him sitting next to his new friend, Micah. Micah was eating Charlie’s lunch and Charlie had the biggest smile on his face. Charlie had given his lunch to his new friend. And while he must have felt a little hungry watching Micah eat, Charlie’s smile told the story. He loved to give and watch the joy it brought to others.
In the following months and years, this became the pattern of Charlie’s life – giving and sacrifice. When he went with his dad to minister to the poor in Guatemala City and the surrounding communities, he would always come home with less than he took, giving whatever he could to a needy child.
Tragically, on February 1, 1996, three weeks short of his 13th birthday, Charlie’s heart just couldn’t hold out any longer, and he went home to be with the Lord. This was of course gain for Charlie, but for his family, and for others he left behind, there was a tremendous sense of loss. Lunchtime was an especially painful time for Charlie’s mom because, in later years, she had home schooled Charlie and there were many special memories of lunchtime together.
One day, around lunchtime, as Janey was sharing her emptiness and grief with the Lord, there was a knock at the door. When she opened it, she found two little boys begging for a piece of bread. In that instant, Janey felt the Lord was telling her, "Give them Charlie’s lunch." And so she did. Instead of giving them bread, she made them a very special lunch.
Each day, for several months, these children, and more, came to the door, asking for bread. And each day they received instead, a special lunch – a lunch good enough for Charlie. Although she invited the children to stay and eat, they always took the lunch with them. As it turns out these kids were in turn sharing their lunch – Charlie’s lunch – with other kids and their families.
Sam and Janey, feeling stirred that God could use this simple act of providing lunch to the hungry, shared what God was doing with their family. There was confirmation and vision that God could multiply "Charlie’s lunch" to feed thousands of hungry children all over the world. God could turn a heart-breaking tragedy into a hope and a blessing. That just as Jesus had used a young boy’s five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000, He could also take what started out so many years ago with Charlie’s simple gift to his kindergarten classmate, and multiply it untold times – all for the glory of God’s kingdom.
The website is: http://charlieslunch.com/