Children Thrive When Mothers Pursue Beauty, Goodness, and Truth

For Sixta Flores, a 38-year-old Bolivian wife and mother, biblical truth held no interest. She attended training meetings with Food for the Hungry because the moms sometimes received little gifts.

FH staff pegged Sixta immediately as a potential volunteer leader because of her talkative, joyful personality. In her high-altitude Andean village, babies frequently died of malnutrition, diarrhea, and simple respiratory infections. FH staff needed strong, well-liked natural leaders like Sixta to teach about keeping babies healthy.

But Sixta made it clear she’d rather stay home and knit. “What they say doesn’t matter,” Sixta told others. “All I want are the goodies they give us, at least we can use that for something.”

Pursuing Goodness, Beauty, and Truth

Sixta Flores in training

Sixta (middle, blue apron) listening to training. Whatever she learns, she passes on to women in her neighborhood group.

FH’s Bolivian staff, including community facilitator Isadora Sanabria, refused to give up on Sixta. “Our work is relational, and therefore her attitude wasn’t an obstacle,” says Isadora. She and other staff members kept praying that God would awaken Sixta’s desire to participate.

Isadora had learned about FH’s core values in staff training. She knew FH’s fifth core value: “We pursue beauty, goodness, and truth.” She saw the beauty of God’s creation in Sixta — her mirthful nature, her intellectual gifts, and her leadership ability.

Little by little, the prayers paid off. “God was in control of time and of Sixta’s life because about a year later she became a volunteer leader,” says Isadora.

Exchanging Lies for Truth

Sixta (and her baby) training the other mothers.

Sixta realized she needed to change the way she fed and cared for her children. “The trainings about biblical worldview caught my attention, and I realized that many times we live a lie. We live by traditions,” says Sixta. “I like the training on health and nutrition because they help me raise my children and advise my neighbors.”

Sixta’s youngest child accompanies her to monthly meetings, where mothers of children under age five receiving training. Volunteers help weigh and measure the length or height of each child at the meeting.

Monitoring the child’s growth is, in a way, a pursuit of beauty, goodness, and truth as well. Parents can see the truth of their child’s progress. They will see that their child is growing. Or, they see that there are problems with the baby’s health and nutrition. There’s celebration of the beauty and value of every mother and child attending the meeting. And there’s reward to the parents for mirroring God’s goodness to his children, by providing for their children.

You can make a difference in the lives of mothers like Sixta by supporting the work of Food for the Hungry today.