I’m only eating rice and beans this year (so far)

I’m never more content than the Sunday morning of Thanksgiving weekend. The previous 72 hours are filled (literally) with turkey and pumpkin pie. And lots of it.

And when Sunday morning rolls around I am primed and ready to worship God for all his bountiful blessings in my life.

But then, out of nowhere, the Holy Spirit shows up to reiterate how ridiculously good I have it here.  My contentment is turned into conviction.

In this case, the Spirit spoke through the testimony of Pastor Joel Amonde, a Kenyan pastor who runs an orphanage and primary school in western Kenya.

Orphans in Kenya

During the 11am worship service, our pastor talked with Joel: “On this particular weekend in America we eat about as much as we can. But what do the orphans in Kenya eat?” Pastor Joel replied honestly, “Rice a beans. One meal of rice and beans.”

One meal a day. Of rice and beans.

I’ve heard stories like this before. But for some reason, Pastor Joel’s testimony and the self-sacrificing work he is doing in Kenya struck a cord with my wife and me.

“Do you have any idea what it is like to be hungry: to eat rice and beans once a day?” My wife gave the same answer I would have given: no.

We have no experience at all with real hunger. So we decided to try our best to show some solidarity with the children of Pastor Joel’s orphanage in Kenya. And we decided to do it in a way that would actually help provide for their needs.

For the first week of January, we are eating nothing but rice and beans. Small portions. Simple meals. For a week.

And the money we save on groceries we are sending directly to support Pastor Joel and the orphans in Kenya.

(click here to see our video message)

We won’t starve. But that’s not the point. The point is to remember–every time a hunger pain hits–to pray for and provide assistance to those who are much hungrier than we are. The point is to remember that we are far better off than we deserve to be. The point is to remember that our full stomachs does not necessarily equal full lives.

The point is to sacrifice so that others can have what they normally cannot.

So here it is: rice and beans for us, money for orphans.

Will you join us? Here’s how.

1. Pick a week in January to eat rice and beans.

2. Buy rice and beans to eat.

3. Subtract the cost of those rice and beans from you regular weekly food budget

4. Give the balance to support Pastor Joel in Kenya (mail or give online to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA – and mark the gift “Kenya” – www.sapres.org) or any other of the millions of orphans around the world who eat only one small meal a day.




Published by Christopher Greer

Writer, pastor, speaker following Jesus.

One thought on “I’m only eating rice and beans this year (so far)

  1. Chris: Thank you for this simple, but beautiful way to transform your concern for our brothers and sisters in Kenya into a genuine blessing.


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