Now 52, MacFarlane-Barrow is married and has seven children. He’s been honored with the Order of the British Empire and was designated in 2010 as a CNN Hero. In 2015, the year he published his first book, The Shed That Fed a Million Children, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
But he continues to be amazed at the generosity of people, a theme he discusses in Give, published last month.
“Just encountering the startling goodness of human beings sometimes seems so startling in the most extreme situations, leaving me wonder at human beings and what makes them like that,” he said. “It fascinates me. Of course I believe we’re made in the image and likeness of God, and he’s placed this charity in our hearts, and we express it in different ways and times. We all have it.”
He also reflects on how, when he visits the places where Mary’s Meals works, he often finds himself — the one who is coming to the rescue — being helped by people who have nothing.
“So often I’ve encountered the poorest of the poor, who have nothing materially, and yet have this incredibly deep trust that God will provide,” he said. “And that’s really been a challenge and a source of grace in my journey to meet people like that so often. And so often it’s led me to have a direct experience of God’s providence in this mission of Mary’s Meals. He has never let us down — ever — since we’ve started this work.”