MAYPEARL — “Beans, Spice, Protein, Rice … Put it in a bag make it look real nice” — this chant fills the room, as hundreds of children put their hands to work at the North Texas District Assemblies of God Kids Camp to provide meals for children around the world. “Leave Your Mark” started as a “what if?” dream. What if children not only had a chance to give but live and serve through a missions project?
“My heart is that children understand that they can make a difference right here, right now and that serving can be fun.” Says Michelle Garland, North Texas Kids Director, “If they can grasp the heart of missions — to bring life change through the tangible love of Christ — at this young age, the impact that their lives will make will be huge.” Garland, launched the Leave Your Mark initiative in the spring of 2017 and through a partnership with Kids Against Hunger, and Convoy of Hope, the service project came to life this summer.
But what does it mean to leave your mark? There are moments in our lives that mark us. Some moments seem big but fade away, while some have the ability to change the entire course of our life — marriage, births, deaths, the day we received salvation, baptism. Other moments, though experienced, don’t stay with us quite as long.
In nature, when lightning strikes, there is a mark that is left. There is no question of its impact. Whatever it strikes is permanently left with a mark. The mark left by the Colorado river that cut through and created the beauty of the Grand Canyon is undeniable.
This summer Leaving Your Mark looks like - 18,000lbs of rice, 10,000lbs of beans, spice, and protein. These ingredients packaged together in a bag provide a meal for six people. Over the course of 5 camps, and with the help of 2,700 children — 175,000 people will have food provided for them.
Kids Against Hunger Central Texas Director, Jeff Pedigo, has been able to witness the service project live each camp and is amazed “to see hundreds of kids at a time packaging meals to feed children around the world while at summer camp. For them to realize they can make a difference in the life of another is life changing.” What may look to others as just a bag of food is really more than that. With “every bag, these kids demonstrate the love of Christ to kids in need. The food is a combination of rice, vegetable protein, black beans, and Latin spice seasoning with 21 vitamins and minerals. The food is designed to help combat malnutrition.”
These meals are packaged, boxed, and loaded on to pallets into a Convoy of Hope Semi Truck and will be shipped to Haiti and the Philippines to be distributed to children and families in need.
Every summer, camps across the United States are filled with children running, laughing and splashing in pools and lakes — This summer North Texas Children are doing all of that, but are creating a significant impact through the Leave Your Mark movement.