March 30, 2020

Dear friend

This time last week, despite the sudden arrival of spring here in Scotland, I was feeling very low. A string of announcements the previous week had signalled the closure of schools in every country where we provide Mary’s Meals and for the first time ever it felt almost impossible for our mission to find a way forward. I found myself thinking of the various children I know who eat Mary’s Meals and who would now be without. While it was possible to understand why those children were temporarily being denied their education for the good of their nation, it was impossible to accept the idea of them also being denied their daily meal. Especially because for many of them that is what Mary’s Meals is – their daily meal – often representing a very large proportion of what they eat.

That unfamiliar feeling of powerlessness and desperation very quickly began to shift though. First of all because the people who serve this mission, were never prepared to accept such a situation. Surrounded by people determined to find a solution - and by many voices raised in ardent prayer (this is at least one way to participate in this mission that can never be taken from us) -  it was impossible to seriously entertain any feeling of despair.

And now, a week later, I feel very different. Much sooner, than we could ever have dared hope, solutions are being found. In Turkana, northern Kenya, where the children – amongst the poorest in the world – rely especially heavily on our daily meal, our indefatigable team have already secured a way forward. In consultation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education they have established a way for our food to be brought to the children in their own homes. This new initiative will begin very soon. Meanwhile all our other programmes teams are engaged in conversations with community leaders and government departments so that solutions might be found and our promise might be kept. I cannot say that in every case this will happen in the short term – there are many factors to consider and some of them are beyond our control -but I certainly can promise that with all our strength we are trying. And I hope very much that the future might contain more good news like that we are hearing from Turkana. 

But, of course, that good news can only be sustained if all the other little acts of love continue. More than ever, we need to remind people of the needs of those little ones in far away places and plead with them, despite their own hardships, to not forget them. 

I thank all of you who are part of this mission for your faithfulness. Amidst your own personal hardships and anxieties, you have remained focused on the hungry child and our promise to them. You are amazing and I feel a very profound sense of privilege that you are part of the Mary’s Meals family. 

May you and your loved ones stay safe this week. 

God bless