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Jess takes a photo in Peru

Ending Poverty Together: Appreciating the Beauty of the Present Moment

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WRITTEN BY Esther Martinez

A Rushed Life

Our newest Ending Poverty Together story highlights a practice we should all lean into during this unprecedented and uncertain time — appreciating the beauty of the present moment.

Before many of us began social distancing and quarantine measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our lives were jam-packed and busy with to-do lists, calendar appointments, errands, meetings, social events, and so much more. How many of you can relate to this daily flurry of nonstop activity?

Peru landscape


Leaning Into the Discomfort

For Jess Bell, Food for the Hungry’s (FH) Social Media Analyst, this rang especially true as she prepared for and traveled to Peru to visit FH communities. Not only did Jess have to make sure all work was completed prior to leaving, but her essential task for the trip was to document the experience of FH Artists Tori Kelly and Anthony Evans, as they also spent time in the communities and met their sponsored children.

“Right away, I struggled with the heat and humidity,” said Jess. “And the bumpy, curvy roads made me nauseous. But being in the communities changed that mindset for me. I needed to lean into the discomfort. By the second or third day, I realized, ‘I got this.’” And that’s when each moment beautifully presented itself.

Living in Each Moment

One of these moments was seeing FH Artist Tori Kelly meet her sponsored child for the first time. Max’s entire family was so excited to meet his sponsor, that they decorated the outside of their home and anxiously awaited her arrival. Max was no exception. He was so happy to meet his sponsor and enjoyed a lively game of soccer with Tori and her family.

Max and his family prepare to meet his child sponsor, Tori Kelly.
Anthony Evans visits Peru and meets Venezuelan refugees, seen in a group shot here holding up the Peru and Venezuela flags

Another moment included visiting a local church that was providing relief and assistance to Venezuelan refugees.

“That was a very emotional day,” said Jess. “Many of the refugee families were willing to share their stories and you could see and feel the pain and heartache they’ve been experiencing. But also, there was gratitude and warmth for the help they’re receiving. It was a really special day.”

Another moment that stood out was sitting in an FH Care Group meeting with mother leaders from the community. Again, Jess grounded her attention and listened intently to each mother as they share about their childhoods, homes, and life experiences.

“It was incredible to see such a variety of women and experiences. Some women had grown up in healthy homes with supportive parents, while others experienced abuse or lived in toxic environments. But in this moment, they were all connecting, helping each other, and feeling empowered and cared for in each other’s presence.”

Clearing Out Space for Reflection

“I’ve gone on quite a few mission trips in the past, and I always spent a lot of time just ‘adjusting’ during the trips. I wouldn’t start processing or really feeling anything until after I got home. It’s almost like I wouldn’t let myself feel until I got back. But this trip felt different. By immediately confronting and accepting the physical discomforts, I was able to let go and just be. I’m so thankful for that.”

Mother leaders in Peru
Mothers in a Cascade Group sitting around smiling
Community in Peru
Group photo in Peru

Interested in learning more about our work in Peru? Go to the Peru country page to learn more!

Continue Reading:

Ending Poverty Together: Investing in the Future

Taste the World: Causa (Peru)

Powerful Photos Show a Day in the Life of Women Around the World


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Gift Policy:
You may send small, flat paper-based items that can fit into a standard #10 size envelope, have a value of less than $5 dollars and weigh less than 4 ounces. We ask that you send small, flat items of this size because shipping is expensive and even small gift items can cause issues clearing customs.
You can send postcards or photographs, however, we ask that you visit here for more details about culturally appropriate guidelines for photos and other images. Please write the child’s ID # on the back of each item that you enclose with your letter to ensure that it reaches him/her.
Best gifts to send your sponsored child:
  • Paper dolls
  • Postcards
  • Pictures of yourself or family
  • Sports cards, individual cards (baseball, soccer, football)
  • Stickers (flat, paper-based, only a few at a time)
  • Paper-based simple bookmarks, stationery, drawing, or writing paper (single sheets)
  • Coloring pages (single sheets, not books)
  • Please do NOT send:
  • Monetary gifts
  • Liquids, candy, or food
  • Batteries or magnets
Please note, all items should be compliant with airline transport and safety regulations. Gifts that don’t meet the gift policy will be donated to a local Christian non-profit organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that works with low-income families. We will not be able to return them.