Posted on June 29, 2015
The One With the Shed That Fed A Million Children
I took my kids to the library a couple weeks ago to sign them up for the Summer Reading Program and check out some books. Libraries and book stores are my favorite places to hang out really. I was again rushing through MY section in between the kids yelling for me for help, but I’m pretty sure I have a Library Angel. Again, on display on a shelf was this book by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow,The Shed That Fed A Million Children. Quickly read the synopsis and thought it sounded interesting so I checked it out.
At around 300 pages, I thought I would rush through it in a few days. I did not. It took me almost two weeks to process all of the information and beauty of this story. I could not believe I had never heard of this cause and this man’s work. I apparently spent too much time at the beginning of this century pregnant and watching Disney Jr. to read real news and learn about real heroes.
When Magnus was a teenager, he travelled to Medjugorje in Yugoslavia with his siblings because there had been sightings of the Virgin Mary by some teenagers. This trip, the joy and peace he felt, at the church there would change his life. Upon his return, his Catholic family was so inspired that they opened the Craig Lodge House of Prayer..in their home! Marcus the started collecting donations and aid and delivering them to refugees. He and his family did this work for many years, expanding their deliveries and helping many across Bosnia, Croatia, and more.
One day in 2002 he had a conversation with a boy who’s mother was dying of AIDS. The boy said, “I would like to have enough food to eat and I would like to go to school one day.” This simple wish led to the idea that would change the lives of millions. Marcus created a program called Mary’s Meals, which provided food for students at school. Millions of children can not attend school due to starvation or the need to work to help pay for food. And if they do attend school, they are unable to learn because they are literally starving to death and ill from lack of food. This program uses volunteers in the community to prepare the food for the students and locally grown food and resources are used when possible.
Since the inception of Mary’s Meals, which is the topic of a documentary called Child 31, they have now fed over 1 million children in over 1,200 schools! There are fundraisers across the world, led by children, teenagers, and adults to raise funds for this amazing cause. At one fundraiser, a teenager told Marcus, “For the first time in my life I really understand that to be a Christian means that you really have to DO something.” Marcus is a prime example of being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Upon a return visit to Edward, the boy who inspired him in 2002 to create Mary’s Meals, Marcus read the day’s Scripture passage at a local village.
“Do not let your love be a pretence,”Paul wrote to the Romans. “Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of Spirit…If any of the saints are in need you must share with them…Rejoice with those who rejoice and be sad with those in sorrow. Treat everyone with equal kindness; never be condescending but make real friends with the poor.”
Treat everyone with equal kindness. Make real friends with the poor.