R e p o r t s
f r o m
t h e
f i e l d
Page 2 Juan Jose’s mother, Maria, has a vision of a better life for her 7-year-old son’s future. “I want the best for Juan Jose so he can develop better and have a better life,” Maria said.
An Unsafe Home When Juan Jose was 3 years old, his father was killed. He has lived ever since in this narrow shack with crumbling walls made of sticks and mud. When it rains, their twin-size bed made of scraps of wood and rope gets soaked, and it takes an entire day for the dirt floor to dry out. Although the bed is barely large enough for even one person, Juan Jose sleeps scrunched up next to his mother and his 4-year-old sister, Karen. Smoke hangs thick in the air because an open fire inside the tiny hut is all Maria has to keep her children warm and to cook meals. “I would love to have my house fixed, but I have no way to fix the house because I am alone,” she said. Not an Easy Life Juan Jose is constantly sick and coughing from the smoke and dampness. Many nights he and his little sister Karen go to sleep hungry, their stomachs empty and growling. Maria has nothing to feed Juan Jose and Karen, and she worries constantly about her young children. Faith in God Juan Jose is shy and quiet and stays close to his mother’s side. Maria is teaching Juan Jose that God is the most important thing in their lives. “I trust God,” Maria said. “When I go to bed I say that, ‘When I lie down I will get up… in the name of God, and that we will wake up okay, and that we’ll be okay in the morning.’”
“In peace I shall both lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me secure.” (Psalm 4:9) A Chance for a Better Life
Juan Jose stands with his mom and his sister, Karen, in front of their crumbling mud and stick home in Honduras.
Karen, 4, has lived in this home since the day she was born and may never have the chance to leave.
With your help, Juan Jose and his family will no longer have to squeeze into one bed in their tiny one-room house, and he will no longer have to breathe in thick, acrid smoke from an open fire that makes him constantly ill. With your help, Juan Jose and his sister can have a safe home and the space they need to thrive. Your compassion can give Juan Jose and children just like him the security they need to transform their lives. You can be the one to give Juan Jose the chance for a better life. ✤
“God, please provide food for my children…”
An Empty Shell For 35-year-old Odilia, seeing her young children suffer from having no food and empty stomachs is devastating. A single mother in Guatemala, Odilia’s husband went to find work in Mexico, but never returned. Since then, she and her children have lived in a tiny structure made of metal and crumbling rock, just slightly bigger than a walkin closet. It is an empty shell with no floor, just dirt; no beds, just an old blanket on the ground. There is no electricity, just whatever they can find to burn at night… and no food, either. The Hunger Hunger affects the children the most. Four-year-old Melissa sobs from the pain of an empty stomach. She is too young to understand why her mother has nothing to give her. Often she and her 6-year-old sister, Anali, beg their mother for anything to eat. This is heartbreaking for Odilia. “They will say, ‘Mama, we’re hungry. Please give us something to eat.’ I have to tell them, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have anything for you to eat,’” Odilia said. “I was very sad all the time because of the whole situation here… and we don’t have much to eat,” Odilia said.
Little Melissa and Anali often must go up and down the street, begging for food from the neighbors when they are hungry. “Sometimes I cry because I see my children sad and hungry,” Odilia said.
“Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor...” (Luke 14:13a) Lack of the Simplest Things Odilia doesn’t have the simplest things for her children. There are no shoes for their feet, no comfortable bed to snuggle into at night, and most days not even one meal to share with them. All she has is her faith and a deep trust in the Lord. She and her children are in critical need of a kind soul to throw them a lifeline. A Mother’s Prayer Odilia broke into tears as she prayed for her children’s lives to improve: “Please God, listen to my prayers. Provide me with food and provide my children with food. I will leave my prayers in Your hands and I trust that You will know when You will answer me, and when I’m going to be able to have a better situation for my children. God, You know every moment I am looking at You and trying to leave everything in Your hands so You can help me and my children...” You can help answer Odilia’s desperate prayers for her children. Through your gift, you can provide food and comfort for little Melissa and Anali, and other children just like them who need your support to help provide food and safe shelter. ✤
Page 4 In the developed world, we are blessed with being able to live in a safe, secure home with electricity, a kitchen and a door that locks. Most of us can say that we eat regular, daily meals and never go hungry.
In developing countries, things are quite different. Poor children endure life without even the most basic necessities.
Leila’s World • An unsafe home without a locking door to keep out intruders. • No bathroom in her home or easy access to one. • No access to medical care that could mend her spinal curve.
Juan Jose’s World • A crumbling hut to live in. • A n open fire in his home that makes him sick. • Constant hunger due to a lack of food.
for food aving to beg nding • H te instead of at school. om hovel. A bare, one-ro • t for a An old blanke • ad out on mattress spre a dirt floor.
Your generosity can transform a child’s world by providing a safe and secure home, and the food and medical care they need to survive.
One-year-old Leila lives with her mom who is uneducated, jobless and struggles daily to provide for her. Leila’s father abandoned her when she was born. Health Problems Sadly, little Leila has serious health problems. “Leila can’t hold herself up and she can’t walk yet because of her backache,” said Leila’s mom, Stephanie.
The house lacks one of the most basic necessities – a toilet. There is only a kind neighbor’s pit latrine across the street and through a narrow alleyway that can sometimes be used.
Leila’s spine is curved and needs medical attention, but Stephanie can’t afford even basic medical care for her suffering child. “Leila has never seen a doctor except for when she was born,” Stephanie said.
At night, instead of a door that locks, they slide an old piece of rotting wood in front of the opening in their makeshift house to try to keep out rats, crawling insects… and intruders. One night the roof collapsed. “When the roof fell I grabbed the plank and put it there,” Stephanie said of a piece of wood in the center of the room that holds the roof up.
Born into Poverty
Saving Innocent Lives
Leila was born into the same poverty as Stephanie. They live in a small room-like shack in an unsafe slum in Petionville, Haiti. They are alone and they have next to nothing. Many days, Stephanie doesn’t have the food she needs to feed Leila or herself. The only way she has to feed and provide for Leila is through the kindness of friends. “Friends give me money sometimes,” she said.
Children like Leila urgently need your help to stop the vicious cycle of poverty they have been born into. You can help an innocent child like Leila by providing the basic necessities of safe shelter, medical attention and food... things every child needs to grow and live a happy and full life. Please do what you can to give Leila and other vulnerable children like her a chance at a bright future. ✤
“A friend loves at all times...” (Proverbs 17:17a, NIV) The Cycle of Poverty Continues Stephanie stopped going to school at a young age and doesn’t remember what grade she was in. This lack of education, coupled with being a single mom, means that Stephanie cannot find work and can’t provide for her tiny little girl. It also means that Leila can’t get the medical attention she needs to straighten her spine. An Unsafe Shelter The home where little Leila is growing up is in a dangerous slum and is unsafe, tiny and excruciatingly hot. The walls built from cinderblocks are crumbling. The roof is made of layers of rusted-out, falling-down scraps of zinc and tin accumulated over the years. The pieces are bent and full of holes, and water rushes into the home during every rain shower.
Future Filled with Hope! Little Kevin perks up in the arms of his mother, Elbia, who holds her precious son with pride.
year ago, he was badly malnourished and could only collapse in her arms. “I was really afraid he was going to die…” Elbia said at the time. But thanks to compassionate friends like you, Kevin is no longer frail and malnourished. Instead, he’s a growing boy — energetic, chubby, happy and healthy.
“I feel very grateful to God and to the people who have helped me,” Elbia said. When our Food For The Poor team met 2-year-old Kevin, he weighed a mere 15 pounds. He was severely malnourished, with a belly bloated from parasites and a fungus covering his bone-thin arms and legs. Kevin spent weeks in the hospital, where thanks to your generosity, he received the medicine and treatment he desperately needed. At 3 years old, he now eats three meals a day and has the energy to play with other little kids. “We have a piano and Kevin and I play together,” said 12-year-old José, Kevin’s relative. Elbia can now imagine a future for her first child. “I hope that he studies and goes to school, and has a good future,” Elbia said. “He can be whatever he wants to be.” ✤
“…it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (Matthew 18:14b)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5: 7
You can view more pictures and learn more about a few of the children featured in this newsletter by visiting our “Notes From The Field” page at:
6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073 800-487-1158 • www.FoodForThePoor.org Answering the Call is a publication of Food For The Poor, Inc. © 2014 Food For The Poor, Inc. All rights reserved.
Did you know… You can leave a legacy of love? You can help answer the prayers of the poor by remembering Food For The Poor in your Will. To leave a lasting legacy of love, please contact our Center for Planned Giving at 866-501-4052 or email email@example.com