Eastside Christian Church packed and delivered 500,000 meals delivered locally and to an orphanage just across the border. Follow the meals to Baja Mexico
Seven-year-old Pamela lives in an orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico. She and her siblings were dropped off by their mom because her husband had left them, and she could not afford to take care of them. The orphanage, Tijuana Christian Mission, provides a loving, family environment for children who have seen and experienced abuse, neglect, and extreme poverty. But life is pretty basic. Clothing is mostly donated and hand-me-downs, toys are few and quickly worn out or broken, and meals can be monotonous. The staff do their best, but when the budget is stretched thin, there’s not much variety or volume they can give.
This is one of the common scenarios we picture when we think of people facing hunger or food shortages. Most of us think of poor and developing countries. True, 821 million people in the world live every day with hunger or food insecurity as their constant companion. However, the lack of enough food to eat is not only a global issue, it’s also a reality for nearly 42 million people living right here in America.
In November of 2020, Eastside Christian Church teamed up with Lifeline Christian Mission to help those in their communities and our neighbors across the border during National Hunger and Homelessness Week. Over 3,000 Eastsiders came together across all four Eastside campuses and met the audacious goal of assembling 500,000 meal packs. *Meal packs include rice, beans, and oatmeal.
It was exciting to see the way God moved through and inspired the people of Eastside to help accomplish this huge task! When many stepped back during covid, Eastside stepped up to serve together for a common goal. People relished the opportunity to get out of their houses and think about something outside of themselves and beyond the walls of their homes. And wow did they show up! It was an uplifting sight to see the families, students, scout clubs, and small groups step up to help fill in the gaps for their neighbors.
Approximately 495,000 meals were distributed to Eastside’s Local Compassion partners around the communities near our California and Minnesota campuses. The remaining meals were sent to Tijuana Christain Mission and Unidad Christian Church, Mexico. In November 2021, a truck carrying meals hit the road from Anaheim, for the southern border of the U.S. About three hours later, the truck is bouncing along the dirt road leading to the orphanage in Rosarito.
Whenever visitors come, the kids come out to see who is coming! This time, when they saw that the group included Arty VanGeloof, who they know from thousands of visits over the years, their faces brightened. Arty is the Director of Global Compassion at Eastside.
The kids were so curious to know what was in the big truck. When Arty opened the truck and said they could help, they gladly carried box after box into the kitchen. That night, Pamela, and all 70 kids at the orphanage ate their fill and came back for seconds. The smile on Pamela’s face, when she heard seconds were available, was priceless. She raced her brother to get back in line.
The staff at Tijuana Christian Mission was so grateful to have a large supply of food staples and can now use their budget to add some more healthy proteins and vegetables to the kids’ diet for months to come.
If you were inspired by this story, we would love to tell you more about Eastside. We have a relentless love and commitment for all to know God. We are committed to finding unique ways to serve in our local communities and help our global neighbors. If you would like to find out joining us in Baja Mexico this summer visit eastside.com/global.
We volunteer in local and global communities, and we also meet together every weekend if you would like to join us in person or online. We believe that this is a place for everyone, wherever you are on your journey. If you would like to find out more about Eastside, please visit eastside.com.
Join us this summer in Baja, Mexico
Age Limit: All ages welcome (under 18 w/ a legal guardian)
Cost: $40/adult, under 18 are free (extra fees may apply)
*Registration closes 10 days prior to each trip.