Jun 23, 2013 - Below the Line    2 Comments

Preparing our Hearts and Pantry

We are counting down the hours until we begin this week’s “Live Below the Line” challenge. We are looking forward to taking this week to reflect on some of the greatest issues that so many people around the world are forced to face daily and hope that you’ll join us this week by joining us in prayer each day at 1:50 PM to intercede on their behalf.

Step one of the week is to purchase our food for each day. We are allotted $1.50 to cover all meals and liquids, excluding water. We can pool together our resources to make it through the week, and are very fortunate that, unlike 1.4 billion others around the world, we won’t have to factor in healthcare, sanitation, housing, and clothing. In the photo below, you will see the food that Heidi and I will share to make it through the week.


Left: 10 packs of Ramen Noodles (Roast Chicken, Beef, Shrimp), 2-sticks of Salted Butter, 10 Biscuits, 1 Bag of Yellow Split Peas, 1 Bag of Lentils, 2 Bags of Long-grain Brown Rice, Multipack Flavored Oatmeal, Old-Fashioned Oats, Coffee, 2 Dozen Eggs, Bananas.

Purchasing food within our budget proved to be a eye-opening and humbling experience, the first of many this week. Our first step was to take a walk down the aisles and weigh out our options (something that within itself is not a possibility for many around the world); in addition, Bottom Dollar is also within a short distance to our house and it is readily available with food that was safe and packaged.

When planning ahead for our meals within such a strict budget we began to think of food in a completely different view than we would normally, looking at each item and asking “will this sustain us?”. In some instances we had to make compromises, putting taste and quality aside, such as the Ramen noodles. You can see in the photo below that on the nutrition scale they aren’t very high, but when they only cost $0.20 they have a little more value.


We will spend this evening breaking down our foods into single portions to ensure that we don’t eat it all at once, something that I normally would never do, because it’s easy to take our next meal for granted. Only on nights when Heidi will be away for dinner do I ever question, “Where will my next meal come from?“, but this is a very real question that billions are faced with each and every day. When we added up all of our totals and reviewed all of our labels, we computed that we will consume roughly 1200 calories a day at $1.48 a day. Trying to think strategically about when we eat proteins versus carbs, I’m sure that the next 5 days will be a learning process.


Hours away from Day 1 of our 5-day challenge, I am overcome with feelings of being richly blessed in our lives. Our basic needs are exceedingly covered daily and our lives are surrounded by comfort compared to others. As mentioned earlier in the week, we will be focusing on praying specifically for the people of Korah, a slum area of Addis Ababa.  Korah houses approximately 130,000 residents; many of whom live on less than $1.00 a day. While we were shopping in an air-conditioned food store, stressing more over how we could meet our budget than how we could have enough food to sustain ourselves for 5-days, a story like below is a sad reality for the people of Korah.

“We had just come from a woman’s house down the hill in Korah. She was house bound because she had lost her leg. She had stepped on something sharp in the dump while she was scavenging and didn’t have the money to get her foot treated for the wound. That foot wound infected her leg and eventually turned into gangrene. She became very ill and had to have her leg amputated as a result. It is maddening that such a simple thing like a cut foot ends up taking someone’s leg and ultimately, their livelihood. That would never happen here in America, yet it happens every day in Ethiopia. My friend Abbey, who is a nurse, was with me on this trip and EVERY wound she cared for was a foot wound. Every single one. You can’t imagine the types of plastic shoes that people walk through the dump in – they are completely unprotected. People contract HIV by stepping on needles that have been used to treat an infected person. People wear bloody clothes that they find in the dump from hospitals. They walk through all sorts of feces and bacteria. This garbage dump is so much more than a place that holds trash. It is a place where the people who come start to believe that they are the very garbage they are there to collect.” (Source: Children’s’ Hope Chest, The Garbage Dump…aka Hell on Earth)

Korah, Addis Ababa trash dump

Korah, Addis Ababa trash dump

Shoes referenced in the quote above.

Shoes referenced in the quote above.

How can you help?

Please join us tomorrow at 1:50 PM to lift the residents of Korah and the 1.4 billion people in the world who are struggling to meet their most basic needs. If you feel called, you can click on the Donate button below, or visit the blog, A Heart for Korah, an organization that provides direct aid to this area—you can find a link on our sidebar. If you donate below or through their site—please include “Live Below the Line” fundraiser in a message to seller. You can also email us for a physical address to mail a donation. Thank you in advance for all of your support.



  • Once again I am simply amazed by your caring hearts. You truly walk the talk. Love you both.

    • Praying for your journey everyday.

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