Our world operates in a scarcity mindset. In particular, over the last several weeks and months tragedy seems to have become normal. Our flags seem to fly at half mast, more than full mast these days. If one does a google search of Columbus South Side, the first images shown are of crime, violence, and blight. Our knee-jerk response seems to come from a negative perspective.
In contrast to this accepted way of being, every day I am rewarded by participating in a world of abundance and opportunity. In the first six months of this year, we provided 354,965 pounds of free produce to a food insecure community. In addition to increasing access to fruits and vegetables, 1,258 unduplicated families participated in 292 hours of health education. As a result, 62 percent of participants improved their diet and 65 percent of people are more physically active.
At the same time, we began utilizing our demonstration kitchen as had been long envisioned. So far this year, 390 adults and 59 kids have attended classes in our demonstration kitchen and at Lincoln Park Elementary School. People have described the classes as fun as they have tried new foods. Families are now cooking healthy meals together.
Every day I hear the story of a person who has lost 35 pounds, or is better managing their diabetes, or is emotionally more stable, or has found a deeper relationship with God and their neighbors.
This is not only happening at an individual level, but also at a community level. Last September I began a health and wellness class at the Reeb Avenue Center. In the last several weeks, this class has turned from an internal group who receives information to an external group serving as a force for good in the community. This class has pledged to clean up the neighborhood and be a voice for change. In the next six months I look forward to this continued evolution as we move beyond accompanying individuals with abundant life toward building a healthier community.
When I come to work each day I do not see lack, I see the creation of the kingdom of God and I am honored and blessed to be a part of it. Our God is a God of abundance, not scarcity.