Everyday, Mrs. Cruz wakes up in a make-shift shelter in a landfill near Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The first question she asks herself is, "How will my husband and I feed our children today?"
This is reality for around 600 families living in a landfill referred to as "Hoyo de Bartola" or "The Hole."
For many of these impoverished families, work opportunities are very limited. Mrs. Cruz's husband does his best to find work, but income is very unsteady for their family. Without an assured income, it is extremely difficult to provide adequate food for their children throughout the week. In the research community, this situation is referred to as "food-insecurity." In other words, one does not know whether his or her next meal is secured.
There are currently 795 million people in the world who are food-insecure. The means 1 in 9 people on our planet will go to bed hungry tonight. As Christ-followers, we cannot simply accept this. That's why we partner together in order to make a difference.
For several years now, IDES has partnered with a local church in Santiago that hosts a Nutrition Center for over 125 at-risk children whose families live in The Hole landfill. Thanks to your generosity, these children have been fed a hot and nutritious meal 6 days a week. That's not even the best part!
Many of these children and their families have attended the church as a result of the love and care shown through its Nutrition Center.
One of Mrs. Cruz's children, Angela, was just 5 years old when she started attending meals at the Nutrition Center. Hope was a rare feeling in the Cruz family, but knowing that their children would be well-fed by church gave them more than just hope--it opened the door to give them eternal life.
Angela accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior when she was 14, and the rest of the family including Mrs. Cruz have accepted Christ and continue to attend the church regularly. Two of the Cruz's children still attend the Nutrition Center meals.
In the midst of desperate poverty, physical help is the key to opening the door to verbally share the Good News of Jesus. It is not only the mission of IDES, but also a primary goal of the global Body of Christ to meet physical and spiritual needs of suffering people throughout the world in the name of Jesus. We are in this together!