Food for the Hungry
This October, my family and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Lima Perú to meet a child that we sponsor through a non-profit called Food for the Hungry. We originally decided to sponsor a child about 3 years ago as part of our charitable giving so that our kids could be involved in it. We hoped they would feel more of a connection than just giving a donation because they had input in the child we chose and get to write letters. We have a close friend who works there who told us about FH’s work and mission and we were sold. As a family, we chose a boy my son’s age who lives in Perú in order to make it most relatable for him, and since I am a Spanish teacher, I loved the idea of using it to help them learn more about what I do. So from then on, we would write letters every now and then and give our $35 a month.
In late May this year, our friend who works at FH contacted us about the possibility of us taking a trip to Perú to meet our sponsored child, Moises. The creative director had shared with him his vision of filming a family’s “daily life”, filming their sponsored child’s “daily life” and then documenting the family traveling to meet the child. They wanted potential sponsors to see first-hand the kind of relationships that can be built through child sponsorship. He listed the criteria of the type of family he wanted to feature and our friend thought we fit it perfectly.
FH has helped to educate and empower Peruvian women to find better, more healthier alternatives that will ultimately lead to much closer families.
Arriving in Peru
When we were approached about taking this trip, we were humbled to say the least. We agreed wholeheartedly right away, knowing this was an opportunity for our family that would be life-changing. After months of planning, we departed for Lima on Monday, October 8. We arrived late that night and were up early the next morning to make the most of our first full day. We spent about an hour learning about what exactly FH does for the communities in Peru. What impressed us most is how FH doesn’t just go in and tell communities what to do, or just hook up fresh water and then leave. They are intentional about their programming and identify specific needs that the communities have. They then involve members of the community to be trained and have them spread that positive message in order to affect their community from the ground up. We learned that domestic violence is a huge problem in Perú, both between spouses and from parents to children. FH has helped to educate and empower Peruvian women to find better, more healthier alternatives that will ultimately lead to much closer families.
After we left the field office, we traveled to the community where Moises lives. As soon as we stepped off the bus and saw him, his mother and brother for the first time, it was overwhelming. They hugged us like we were family. They had signs and balloons decorating their very sparse and basic concrete-walled home. His older brother had just learned to make pizza, and was so proud to offer it to us. The first thing we all did together was pray. Moises had learned the Our Father in English and we all said it together. He also shared with all of us how nervous he was, and my son was as well. We quickly found a way to break the ice when we mentioned that we like to listen to music and dance. Moises’ face lit up and he starting “flossing” and my kids smiled and danced with him. After that, it was like they had been friends for years. Even with the language barrier, he and my son spent hours together playing soccer and just being together. We also had the chance to talk to Moises and his mother about the importance of the letters he received from our family, which he has hanging on his wall at home.
We often feel like our kids live in a bubble and as much as we would try to explain to them what life is like in other parts of the world, they couldn’t possibly understand until they saw it in person.
On the third day when we left Moises and his family and were driving away on the bus, my son dissolved into tears. He wasn’t able to put his sadness into words other than to just say that he was going to miss Moises so much. But the next day when we talked again and I asked him if he could put some words to those emotions, he said “he is just so happy and has so little”. At that moment I knew that he had gotten out of this trip exactly what we are hoping for. We often feel like our kids live in a bubble and as much as we would try to explain to them what life is like in other parts of the world, they couldn’t possibly understand until they saw it in person.
God at Work
Most importantly, Christ is at the center of FH’s teachings. God was most certainly at work in this experience for us. The way everything played out was so clearly in His divine hands. With this Christmas season upon us, which is truly about the gift of Jesus who came to serve, and to fill the empty parts of our hearts with His love and presence, I would encourage everyone to considering sponsoring a child through FH. It has been an incredible blessing to our family and has done so much more than any material gift could for our kids. We have seen first-hand what our money goes to and how much letters to these sponsored children mean to them and their families. While we realize that not many families will get the chance to do what we did, we pray that we can be messengers for FH in order to inspire others by giving them confidence in the work they do. Please visit this link for more information: https://www.fh.org