From The Field

Handing Hope to His Precious Children

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14

In the tiny country of Swaziland, where unemployment is rampant and food is scarce, a father and mother desperately seek to provide for their children. Nine pairs of brown eyes look to their parents anxiously, each child’s stomach growling as they wonder when they will receive their next meal. The youngest baby is sick and needs food quickly.

With no one else to turn to and no help in sight, the father leaves in search of food. He is promptly arrested for stealing and thrown in jail for ten years. Just weeks later, the mother is also arrested as she tries to steal food and basic items in an attempt to ensure the survival of her children—she finds herself staring at a three-year prison sentence.

Before serving out her prison term, the mother was placed in the hospital due to the severe malnourishment of her newborn baby. That’s where our partner, Heart for Africa, met her—and she pleaded with them to help her eight children who were now left alone to fend for themselves.

Frightened and starving, these children were barely surviving. A filthy mattress was their only place to sleep. They attempted to cook grass in a dirty black pot over a poorly-lit fire in the middle of a dusty old building.

“There are approximately 15,000 orphan-headed households in Swaziland.” – Heart for Africa

FMSC in Swaziland

Heart for Africa began bringing MannaPack™ meals to the orphaned household, and a neighbor helped cook the food for the children. As a direct result of your faithful giving, these beautiful children now receive meals consistently. Their grandmother, who left the home because she had no way to provide for her grandchildren and couldn’t bear to watch them starve, has returned. Now the kids have someone to care for them and nutritious food to help them grow healthy and strong. This is amazing!

On the first return visit to the orphaned household, it was discovered that 14 children now live there. Other children who were also living without parents had drifted to a reliable source of food.

Children like these are the reason Feed My Starving Children exists. They are desperate and without hope, but your care and intentional giving literally hands them hope in the form of a simple nutritious meal. You bring them immense encouragement, shine the great love of Jesus and show them they are not forgotten.

To give, visit fmsc.org/donate.

FMSC MarketPlace: Ugandan Soccer Balls

Meet Paul. He is 17 years old and lives with his grandmother and three siblings in a small home in Rakai, Uganda. After losing his father to AIDS, Paul had to begin earning an income to pay his own school fees and support his family. His job became walking several miles each morning to the closest well to fetch water for various people in his village. After a while, piped water was brought to Paul’s village and his services were no longer needed by his neighbors.

Paul approached FMSC’s food partner, the Rakai Orphans Development Initiative (RODI), to see if he could restore his income by utilizing another one of his skills: making soccer balls! Growing up, Paul had perfected his skill at creating soccer balls out of dried banana leaves in order to play football with his friends.

Ugandan soccer balls in the FMSC MarketPlace
Ugandan soccer balls in the FMSC MarketPlace

Ugandan soccer team

Once the FMSC MarketPlace heard his story, it didn’t take long to make our first purchase to support his livelihood. Since then, FMSC has purchased 880 soccer balls from Paul and his 8 friends who he has now brought alongside him to be a part of his business venture. The boys are able to pay school fees and pay for their uniforms with the income made from the soccer balls.

Paul is very bright, disciplined and works hard to earn top scores in school. The RODI staff believes Paul will be a future leader in the community. Paul is a resourceful young man who loves school and soccer. He would like to be a doctor when he grows up.

To purchase these Ugandan soccer balls, CLICK HERE.

Ugandan soccer team

Lolo’s Story

Lolo lives in Nicaragua. He suffers from mental illness and has two club feet, which severely hampered his ability to walk and interact with others. He would often be found lying on the ground in his own filth. Although people made attempts to help him, no one could figure out a good way to do so.

One day Lolo was discovered in the gutter—it was raining heavily—he was soaking wet, sick and close to death. A group of volunteers from a local church that partners with FMSC brought him to a nursing home where MannaPack meals are distributed. There he was attended by a doctor and began receiving medication for his mental illness.

Lolo was given his own room to sleep in, began eating MannaPack rice daily and was treated with dignity, love and care. He slowly began to heal and grow strong both physically and mentally.

Read Lolo's story
Read Lolo's story

He is now able to walk with a cane and enjoys spending time with the other residents at the nursing home.

Your investment in FMSC makes partnerships like this possible, and helps improve the lives of so many like Lolo.

To give, visit fmsc.org/donate.

World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day and this guest blog post was written by Ryan Skoog, Venture Expedition’s President and Co-Founder. Venture Expeditions uses FMSC meals in their work in Southeast Asia among many groups including refugees. Ryan shares his perspective from the field.

The Burma/Thailand border is one of the most picturesque places on earth. Nestled into these mountains are burnt homes, landmines, refugee camps, displaced people, shattered lives the other remains of war and destruction.

The Burmese army made a practice of coming into a village, raping the woman, making the little boys into child soldiers, burning the homes and then setting land mines around the burnt homes to prevent anyone from returning. These displaced people streamed across the Burma Thailand border.

Boy from Thailand

We visited an official refugee camp with 50,000+ refugees altogether–and this was just one of 9 official camps, and countless unofficial refugee villages.

Nursing mothers did not have enough nutrition to keep their babies alive.

It was there I met Steven (pictured left, below). He and his family made the dangerous march to cross the the Thai border to safety. Just before they reached the border, 3 of Steven’s brothers were shot and did not make it.

I also met Mei Sha (pictured right, below), who lost his arms and eyesight while trying to disarm a landmine. He walked blind to the Thai border and made it to a refugee village.

Stephen and Meisha from Thailand

We asked community leaders all over if we could help. The unanimous answer was, “Can you get us food?! If we don’t have to worry about where our next meal comes from, we can rebuild our lives.

After a great ordeal, we were able to bring the first Feed My Starving Children container into Thailand to the refugees. The MannaPack was perfect with it’s neutral flavor and high nutrition.

As I write this our 3,000,000th meal in partnership with Feed My Starving Children is crossing the border. Our measurement team has seen tangible evidence that lives are being saved and communities are being rebuilt. What has made this possible is food security. The FMSC MannaPack has become the platform for refugees to begin rebuilding their lives.

Venture Expeditions in Thailand

Happy Father’s Day

This guest post is by Miguel Angel. Miguel is a father of two from Somoto, a small town in the northern region of Nicaragua called Madriz. For the past two years, he has volunteered weekly to support physical education classes at Fabretto’s preschool, where his four-year-old daughter is enrolled and FMSC meals play a crucial role in the program. He shared his experience with us.

I got the idea to volunteer because I wanted to become involved and watch my daughter learn and grow. I’ve always enjoyed working with children and I love sports, since I play baseball on a team here in Madriz. The children participate well and always pay close attention to my instructions. My favorite part is seeing them learn and develop during the activities and games we play.

My daughter has learned a lot in preschool and she loves going to school. Before she came to preschool, she was really shy. As parents, we’re pleased because now she’s active. She participates in games, she’s more independent, and she talks with her classmates. She loves folkloric dance and participated in a cultural festival last year.

Miguel is involved in his children's education in Nicaragua

I think Fabretto’s programs are very important for families. The school lunch provides a varied diet to improve children’s nutrition. The best part is that lunch is shared with all, like a family, and it supports families who sometimes do not have the resources to give their children a varied, nutritious diet like the meals at Fabretto. I also like the health education for my daughter and for us as parents, because health is also a big part of education for our children.

My daughter has great opportunities for meaningful learning because the preschool has interactive materials to help them learn. We also help her at home. In the future, I know that my daughter will leave preschool with knowledge and skills that will help her succeed in primary school, and I would love for all children to have the same opportunities. I hope by sharing my experience, I can motivate more parents to share in their children’s education at school.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads around the world working to make their kid’s lives better.