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Feed My Starving Children Executive Director Mark Crea will speak at this year’s Woodbury Area Prayer Breakfast. (Submitted photo)

Feed My Starving Children leader highlighting Woodbury Area Prayer Breakfast

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When Feed My Starving Children was set to send food to Haiti in 2004 during a difficult civil war, somehow the food didn’t leave the shipping dock until the end of August.

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Through a series of mishaps, those hundreds of packages actually avoided Hurricane Jeanne by leaving the dock a few weeks later.

“In this case, we had no idea what was going to happen three, four weeks later in Haiti,” said Mark Crea, Feed My Starving Children CEO. “But the Lord did and the result was the food was protected.”

Crea is this year’s Woodbury Area Prayer Breakfast keynote speaker. The event will be held at 7 a.m. Tuesday, May 6, at the Prom Center in Oakdale.

Organizers chose Crea more than a year ago to highlight the impact of Feed My Starving Children on various communities in Minnesota and around the globe.

FMSC has been around for more than 20 years, but it hasn’t always been a strictly Christian organization.

“For a lot of people in business that are of Christian faith, sometimes we feel like, ‘Is it OK to be ourselves?’” said Doug Kasper, one of the organizers of the event. “It’s just a part of who they are as an organization, and it’s OK.”

FMSC, headquartered in Coon Rapids, Minn., rededicated its organization to the Christian faith 10 years after opening.

Though everyone was welcome to pack regardless of faith, FMSC prays over the food it packs and before it’s shipped off.

“All these children on the other side, regardless of who we’re feeding, are God’s children,” Crea said.

The organization has produced 900 million meals over 20 years, but 98 percent happened after the rededication occurred.

“You get the hockey stick of growth,” Crea said. “You’re looking at not quite a line straight up in the air but a rocket nonetheless.”

Crea credits the growth to volunteerism, dedicated service organizations and a strong faith.

For all the meals to get to third-world places like Haiti, Mozambique, Afghanistan and Uganda and arrive safely, “Either we’re the luckiest organization in the world or there is something else going on.”

The Woodbury Area Prayer Breakfast selects a speaker each year to share an interesting story of faith. The event draws anywhere between 350 to 475 attendees.

Kasper said it wasn’t very difficult to choose Crea this year.

“Someone that people can hear and look up to and respect that has a great story about things they’ve overcome,” he said, describing the criteria.

The event will feature a full breakfast catered by the Prom Center, music and city officials leading prayers.

The Woodbury Area Prayer Breakfast is modeled after the National Prayer Breakfast held annually in Washington, D.C.

“The idea is to come together in prayer to support the decisions that our community leaders have to make,” Kasper said.

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Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir has been a reporter/ photographer with the Woodbury Bulletin since 2011. She covers Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news around the city. Riham holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked for two other Forum Communications newspapers in Central Minnesota. Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.
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