Sunday, March 31, 2019

Days 22-30: The Final Stretch to the Finish

Well, here I stand at the end of my 6th time to make just $30 worth of food stretch across 30 days (90 meals). I am so grateful for all of your support. I made it through just fine. Sure, with some hunger and cravings, but it is not so bad after you get used to it and realize that you can do a lot with a little.

I wasn't able to keep up with my usual daily blogging and social media updates on the challenge due to an intense season planning and promoting our 3rd Annual Taste of Hope Wine Dinner, which is a huge undertaking. You're invited, by the way-- it's Thursday night, May 2nd, in Houston.

Regardless, I'm glad I did the challenge, and am extremely grateful for those of you who helped in reaching a very encouraging portion of the goal with recurring donation pledges.

All told, by way of this challenge to live more simply for 30 days on $30, the resulting heightened awareness multiplied this humble $30 into $674 in new monthly recurring support during the month of March! And that is something we can all be encouraged by! With most of our monthly support averaging to 5 years or more, the charitable impact will only accrue over time, with consistent provision for trafficking survivors, orphans and at-risk children in our programs.

When multiplied out over 5 years, the recurring impact will come to a total of over $40,000 and perhaps much, much more as time goes on and these faithful friends of orphans and trafficking survivors continue to support these important programs. 

I guess that's the over-arching theme that I'd like you to pick up on from these challenges— that your small contribution, your small act of faith or courage, like my little "challenge" to live on $30 of food for 30 days, can be multiplied from the "ripple effect" of a changed life in turn changing others for good. And your life is changed in the process, you gain perspective that your actions make a difference for others in such an exponential way. Your power to change the world is very real. 
I dedicate day 30 to those who have no day 31, and who often miss meals or get by on just one meal a day. To mothers who have to listen to their children cry because of hunger, and for all the orphans who have no mothers to cry to when they're hungry. 
Thank you for following along if you've read this far and for all your support and patient reading eyes. It shows that you care!

With this final blog post of the challenge I'd like to give a thanks to my friends around the world who have inspired me with their humility and joy in the midst of struggle. Here are a few of their smiles I've captured over the past 8 months. They're why I do what I do! 

Rural Uganda

Manila, Philippines

Cebu, Philippines

Myanmar (Burma)

South India

Kathmandu, Nepal

Here's a look at where we ended up on my "heart-chart" - and it's never too late to join in! I will continue the campaign until this chart is full, so please help out by filling up a heart with your monthly support of that amount.

Just tap on this chart and then on the next page choose the amount of the heart you want to sponsor, choose the day of the month you want your donation to be charged each month, enter your details, and you're done!

And finally, my last 27 meals of the 90... A special thanks to chef Anita Jaisinghani of Pondicheri for preparing meal 74 with what she estimated to be about $0.33 of ingredients. Pondicheri is an anchor sponsor of our She Has Hope programs and we could not be more grateful for their support.

Regarding the food on this challenge, I have to say that my girlfriend's idea to make the tortillas by hand from the flour we had was a game changer. Compared to my corn tortillas of previous challenges, it made all the difference and saved us a lot of money. Also a hugely satisfying breakthrough was the discovery of an oven-baked potato strips recipe we improvised and it blew our minds. That's why you'll see so many potato strips (or "baked fries") in this post.

Another theme I've blogged about in my previous challenge blogs is the realization that we can get by and be satisfied with so much less than we think we need. While I know some of the meals may not look all that appetizing, my goal with the photos and presentation of the food is to show you how much can be done with so little, and to imagine what could be achieved with even just $2/day if we could do this with just $1/day!

Take Action!

1) Please consider helping me reach my goal to find 50 new "Sustainers"— donors willing to give a small amount each month toward our work helping vulnerable children and trafficking survivors. Go here and enter the amount you would like to give monthly!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to the work of Peace Gospel's programs helping orphans, at-risk children of the slums, and human trafficking survivors.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!