The Circle of Hope
This week the blog is sponsored by Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF), a nonprofit seeking to “deliver hope to suffering children by equipping local churches for gospel-centered mercy ministry.” Serving in the United States and 29 other countries, CHF seeks to help the local church reach suffering children and families in their communities with both physical help and spiritual hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lupe Gomez distinctly remembers what it was like to receive the gift of food as a kid.
One of eight siblings, growing up in the ‘80s, Lupe told us a story about when his elementary school had a food drive.
He remembers telling his mom about it and asking her if he could take a can of corn or beans to the food drive.
“She opened the cupboard, and there wasn’t much in there,” Lupe shared. “But she gave me a can of corn.”
Caption: Lupe and Julie Gomez at Children’s Hunger Fund
Lupe took that can of corn to his school for the food drive and gave it away to children in need.
“A week later, this big truck comes to my house with food for us,” Lupe shared. “I gave a can and I got boxes of food. It just came right back to me, and it was just amazing, but I don’t know what happened.”
Now, almost 40 years later, Lupe understands why he received those boxes of food. Even though Children’s Hunger Fund wasn’t the one that provided it, that generous gift motivates him to volunteer at CHF almost every week.
“I volunteer two hours at a time, but I could be here for three days. It feels amazing and it just makes you want to get involved more,” Lupe said.
Lupe volunteers with his wife, Julie, and they enjoy filling the boxes of food called Food Paks that will be delivered into the hands of suffering children by a pastor or church volunteer.
“I feel a sense of peace knowing that what we are doing is special and I tell everyone about it,” Julie said. “Everyone is just so welcoming, loving, and caring!”
Reflecting on the gift of food he had received as a kid, Lupe shared: “Hope—it’s everything.”
Even though he didn’t understand where that gift of food first came from, now, looking back, he understands. “The heavenly Father was looking out for us.”
About 30 miles away, on a warm afternoon in June, two small children sit enjoying some applesauce. The snack came from a Food Pak delivered that morning by a volunteer from a local church.
Sitting around a small table, Araceli converses in broken Spanish with the volunteer.
Araceli is one of many immigrants from Michoacán, Mexico who have settled in rural Fillmore, California. Like others in her community, Araceli speaks Tarasco, a dialect spoken by the people of Michoacán. Tarasco is classified as a language isolate, unrelated to any other known languages, including Spanish. Because of this, Araceli has difficulty communicating with anyone outside of her small community.
Caption: Araceli and her son with a Food Pak from Children’s Hunger Fund
Communication is even difficult with her own children. Attending school in the US for several years, Araceli’s two teenage daughters speak English and have little interest in speaking their mother’s native dialect. Because of this, Araceli has lost a lot of her authority over her children, simply because they cannot communicate. Her three-year-old son and her two-year-old granddaughter speak Tarasco, but both will be learning English when they begin school in a few years.
Prior to the pandemic, Araceli was invited to a women’s Bible study at Sembradores Church. Through this relationship with her local church and the home deliveries of food, Araceli has heard the gospel message and made a declaration of faith.
Recognizing the need in Fillmore for someone who speaks Tarasco, Pastor José Luis Paz of Sembradores Church has made it his mission to identify someone in the community who will be able to bridge the communication gap between the church and the Tarascan community in Fillmore.
If it weren’t for the faithfulness of volunteers like Lupe and Julia and church volunteers and pastors like the ones visiting Araceli, the ministry of CHF would not work. God is using His people all over the world to bring healing and hope to children and families who are suffering, and we are so thankful that He allows us to help provide the resources to make that ministry possible.
There are so many ways you can get involved with CHF and help further the mission to deliver hope to suffering children. Find out more here!
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