Someone Packed This Meal

Humanitarian Kindness: It’s All About People

By Stephen Hunt

In a small Tanzanian village, a boy pauses to smile. Steam rises from the lunch he holds — a lunch he is about to enjoy. Behind the boy is a shack that functions as a kitchen and serving area for the school he attends. For 100 reasons this “kitchen” wouldn’t pass the health regulations in most countries, but it serves the students well. The meals prepared here are often the only meal these children eat each day.

Like most of his classmates the boy is likely an orphan, victimized by the HIV/AIDS epidemic that still ravages his country. Sad, we say — and of course it is. But when we look at this picture, is sad what we see? No. The smile, coupled with his friendly eyes, give the impression he’s a lot of fun to be around. This boy is not an object of pity who needs our compassion. He is a child filled with dignity who is worthy of our kindness. And if we had the ability to see the journey that led to the moment captured in the picture, we would see that many people — people he’s never met — cared about providing him this meal.

After all, someone packed the meal he is about to enjoy. Someone sealed a box and loaded it on a container, and someone arranged for its transport. Someone gave money to pay for the shipping costs. In the end we see the meal ready to be enjoyed. But it’s not about the meal. It’s not about the financial donation, or the logistics. This photo, and all that Unto® does, is about people — from the volunteer who packed the meal to the child nourished by it and every step along the way, humanitarian kindness is all about people.

More than Compassion

At this school the boy receives an education and learns about the eternal hope found in Jesus. He eats nutritious meals and drinks clean water because of a well drilled a few years ago in partnership with Unto. A life is changed because countless people not only felt compassion for his situation, but they chose to step forward in kindness and enter his story because of the kindness God first demonstrated to them.

This one boy shows a beautiful picture of how so many people work together to relieve suffering, restore dignity, and reveal hope in the toughest places on earth. What might seem like a small step of kindness has real significance. And that kindness, combined with the work of Jesus, changes lives.

Published May 24, 2018

Stephen has served as a content writer and researcher for Unto. He has been on staff since October 2017.