Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sun. Aug. 10, 2014 (John Longhurst)

John Longhurst spoke about the creative relief work being done by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Farming has changed during the past century, moving from some 80 acres being tilled and harvested with horses providing power, to massive cooperatives of thousands of acres of monocrops drilled (no-til) and then harvested by machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although the times and methods have changed, the old problems remain, like those which prompted various ancient biblical mandates to stipulate that farmers (in an agrarian society) should (1) donate 1/10th of their crops so that the priests and the poor had provisions, (2) when harvesting, the reapers were to leave stalks and grain which could be gleaned by the poor, and (3) the Year of Jubilee sought to ensure the return of the use ofancestral land as a way to redistribute wealth. The first public talk by Jesus focused on feeding the poor. In the 1970s, Canadian farmers had bumper crops while parts of Asia and African faced starvation. Through MCC, some Mennonites creatively established a way to ship their surplus grain to needy people. Eventually the project matured. Instead of shipping Canadian grain abroad for free (thereby undercutting local foreign farmers), the Canadian grain is sold locally at market value and the proceeds are deposited with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (now independent of MCC). By now, the bank's millions of donors include Christians from all walks of life and many countries, as well as the Canadian federal government which provides substantial aid. Although this work is no longer under MCC, it remains one of the most tremendous gifts Mennonite believers have given to the cause of world relief, one of the guiding principles taught in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. [JEK]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, August 10th, 2014 using your browser's preferred media player.



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