Gratitude is on the hearts and minds of people in the U.S. as we celebrate Thanksgiving. But others are counting their blessings as well this year. Read on to see thanksgiving around the world. These three vulnerable families served by Food for the Hungry (FH) are now giving thanks.
“Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,” Psalm 107: 8–9 says, “for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
May their stories of God’s provision through the compassion of His people fill hearts everywhere with thanks and joy.
Burundi: Thankful for a Good Job
After many years of hardship and inability to meet her family’s needs for food, education, and other basics, Mariam received a life-changing gift when FH entered her community: A sewing machine.
Along with this blessing came training. Mariam has learned a skilled trade and is now able – as a tailor – to earn an exponentially greater income than she ever could before. As a result:
- Mariam no longer needs to take out loans to enable her children to eat more than once a day.
- Her children are no longer being forced to drop out of school for lack of school fees or supplies.
- Her family is finally able to experience hope: They’re on a path out of of extreme poverty, into a brighter future.
“I thank my Almighty God that now I get all my family needs without asking for loans,” Mariam says.
“My family life changed,” she continues, listing so many reasons she is thankful. “First, I bought a goat. Then, with my husband, I built a fence at home. We are able to pay for all our children’s school fees and materials. And we now have three meals a day!”
“Additionally, I am able to buy tailoring materials. I make clothing for my children and myself, and very soon I’ll buy land for my children.”
Mariam, now meeting her family’s needs with her sewing trade, is one of many experiencing thanksgiving around the world.
Cambodia: Thanking God for Healthy Children
Ka Vorn, too, feels deep gratitude for the many blessings that have restored health and hope to her children. They came in the form of chickens, clean water, and a latrine.
Before receiving these gifts – and the valuable training that came with them – Ka Vorn’s family had not been taught to practice good health and sanitation. As a result, her four children frequently became ill, often requiring medical attention and keeping them away from school. Additionally, the high cost of medicine and visits to the hospital took money away from the small amount the family had to pay for food and other basics.
But now, they eat a balanced diet made possible with eggs and meat from the dozen chickens they received from FH – and those 12 are already multiplying. They also have clean water to drink, and better hygiene and sanitation practices have dramatically improved the health of the whole family. “Now that our family is healthier, we are saving the money that we were spending on medical treatments,” Ka Vorn says with joy.
When asked what she’s most grateful for, Ka Vorn didn’t hesitate: “My young children can go to school, and one of my daughters has a vocational scholarship to study cosmetology. I thank God and FH for giving my family a brighter hope.”
Ka Vorn is thankful that her children are now healthy and can attend school regularly.
Peru: Giving Thanks for Nutritious Food
Another beautiful story of thanksgiving comes from Guillermina in Peru. She could not be more grateful for the vegetable seeds she received from FH to start growing food for her hungry family.
With the seeds, gardening supplies, and training she received, she no longer has to pay more than she can afford for wilted brown vegetables from the market. She can now efficiently produce tasty fresh food direct from her garden that her children love to eat. She’s also able to save the money she once had to spend to meet other needs for her family.
“And these are not just for family consumption,” Guillermina says of her fresh, plump new produce. Her new income-generating strategy is to select the most beautiful ones and take them to sell at the market for premium prices. “This is a great help for us,” she said.
Gratitude flows from Guillermina’s heart. “It is a blessing from God to have FH in our community,” she said. “I never thought to learn about vegetables, and we didn’t eat them. Now, my children don’t suffer from anemia anymore because they eat spinach and the Swiss chard that I grow.”
Guillermina is thankful she can feed her family with produce from her garden.
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