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Pathway of Hope Blessed with Great Opportunity to help Local Families

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (03/03/15) – In early January, Ashley Mefford, an Initial Outfitters Representative, contacted Pathway of Hope Center Director, Diana Anderson about the possibility of a fundraiser for Pathway of Hope families.

This was no ordinary fundraiser. It was actually a chance for individuals to pay $20.00, which would provide a lunch box to a child that comes into Pathway of Hope as well as food for a month to a child in another country like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and other areas. This program is called "Charlie's Lunch.”

With great excitement, Ashley presented Pathway of Hope with 108 lunchboxes that are monogrammed with Pathway of Hope as well as $655.00 to buy healthy snacks to put into the bags for the Pathway families.

Charlie's Lunch program was born out of great loss and great love.

The following information is from the Charlie’s Lunch Program website:

Sam and Janey Stewart's son, Charlie, was born with a serious heart defect. It was only through the work of brilliant doctors and many miracles that he survived birth. Though Charlie was physically handicapped by his heart condition, he remained one of the most spiritually alive kids you could ever meet. He was a beacon of joy who loved to give.

On his first day of kindergarten, 5-year-old Charlie Stewart went to school proudly carrying the lunch his mom had made. When Janey went to check on him at lunchtime, she found him sitting next to his new friend, Micah. Micah was eating Charlie's lunch and Charlie had the biggest smile on his face. Charlie had given his lunch to his new friend. And while he must have felt a little hungry watching Micah eat, Charlie's smile told the story. He loved to give and watch the joy it brought to others.

In the following months and years, this became the pattern of Charlie's life, giving and sacrifice. When he went with his dad to minister to the poor in Guatemala City and the surrounding communities, he would always come home with less than he took, giving whatever he could to a needy child.

Tragically, on February 1, 1996, three weeks short of his 13th birthday, Charlie's heart just couldn't hold out any longer, and he went home to be with the Lord. This was, of course, a gain for Charlie, but for his family, and for others he left behind, there was a tremendous sense of loss. Lunchtime was an especially painful time for Charlie's mom because, in later years, she had home schooled Charlie and there were many special memories of lunchtime together.

One day, around lunchtime, as Janey was sharing her emptiness and grief with the Lord, there was a knock at the door. When she opened it, she found two little boys begging for a piece of bread. In that instant, Janey felt the Lord was telling her, "Give them Charlie's lunch.” And so she did. The boys returned day after day, bringing a few more friends with them, but they would never stay to eat at the Stewart's home. Instead, they were taking the lunches that Janey made and sharing them with other children that lived in the street with them.

Sam and Janey shared what God was doing with their family. There was confirmation and vision that God could multiply "Charlie's Lunch" to feed thousands of hungry children all over the world, and the Charlie's Lunch Ministry was born!

To learn more about Charlie's lunch ministry, please visit http://www.charlieslunch.com

At Initial Outfitters, we believe that we have been blessed so that we can bless others! With that in mind, Initial Outfitters has partnered with "Charlie's Lunch" to help in their mission of goodwill, fellowship, and feeding. Through our lunch money collections, and the sale of our Charlie's Lunchboxes and Charlie's Lunch Cookbooks, Initial Outfitters now fully sponsors 17 lunchrooms and the Charlie's Lunch Orphanage each year! Located in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Zambia, and India, our lunchrooms provide hot lunches, bible study, and love for 1,100 children! But this is not just a charity that we send money to! Alicia and Jim Storbeck have personally visited and spent time in our Charlie's Lunchrooms, giving out hugs, lots of love, leading evangelism activities, and getting to know the communities. These children and their families are counted among the poorest of the poor. But as a part of this ministry, they are made to feel rich as they are fed physically and spiritually, and are ministered to on a regular and personal basis. This is where the "eternal differences" will be made! The changes that we have seen in the children are dramatic! Their families are joining the church, and their priorities are changing to reflect their new faith. When a Charlie's Lunchroom comes to a community, the community is changed forever.

Diana Anderson states, “It is such a blessing for Pathway of Hope to have individuals and groups partner with us as we reach out to the families in this community. Thank you to every person who partners with us in any way!”

Information provided by the Pathway of Hope
Posted by J.L. Graham
KenCo News