Big, bold presents tend to grab a lot of the attention at Christmas. But don’t be fooled. Often the small gifts mean the most and make the greatest difference.
Just ask Naoi and her 9-year-old son, Aditia. Their family received one of the tiniest gifts available in the Food for the Hungry (FH) Gift Catalog. In fact, this present is so little that it could easily get lost in wrapping paper or go unnoticed inside a stocking. Yet the impact made by this teeny present could not be more beautiful, far exceeding its petite size with enormous transformational power.
The small-yet-mighty gift? Packets of seeds.
And the impact? Far beyond a patch of tasty vegetables!
Mother and son tend to their vegetable garden, which started with the small gift of seeds.
A Family Stuck in Poverty
Naoi had lost all hope for her children’s futures.
Economic problems in their Indonesian community left her and her husband with an impossibly low income. As a result, they had no food to put on the dinner table for their children and no money for anything else, such as school fees or materials.
She used to dream about giving her children an amazing education that would open every door to them in their future careers. She worked hard to make this dream come true. But the extreme, generational poverty in her community seemed impossible to escape.
Many children in their village are forced to drop out of school in junior high in order to join the workforce and help their families. Naoi felt lucky that her two oldest sons, Yohanes and Dionisius, made it through high school. But then they, too, had to stop their studies and help their parents provide for the younger siblings.
Sadly, even with four breadwinners in the family, their poverty persisted. The children were malnourished, with only bananas to eat at every meal. Many of their basic needs went unmet.
Now the thought of her littlest son, Aditia, finishing high school seemed out of the picture. The dream of sending even one of her children to college? Impossible.
But then, a small gift arrived for Naoi’s family and changed everything.
Naoi and Aditia harvest vegetables they’ve grown.
A Small Gift Grows a Harvest of Hope
When Naoi and her family received a packet of vegetable seeds and training from FH, she seized the opportunity with enthusiasm and hard work.
To her, these little seeds were much more than a small gift. They represented her family’s big break, a chance to escape poverty and build the bright future she’d always dreamed of for her children.
Determined not to let this opportunity pass her by, she planted the seeds, applied the training she’d received from FH, and began harvesting a future for her family, one vegetable at a time. Just a few of the varied vegetables she cultivated included:
- Long beans
These delicious veggies rounded out the family’s former bananas-only diet to include a wide variety of important minerals and nutrients. With a well-balanced diet, the children became healthier and stronger, able to do their best in school.
With good garden training, the harvest of vegetables multiplied quickly. Soon there was much more than the family could eat on their own, so they started to sell the extra veggies at the market. With the proceeds, they were able to buy other supplies to meet their needs. The new income source paid Aditia’s school fees and made it possible to purchased a motorcycle for family transportation.
Aditia works on his school assignments.
A Big Future Within Reach
Naoi, Aditia, and the whole family are deeply grateful for the changes they’ve already seen in their income, health, and day-to-day lives. They’re so happy and filled with pride that their hard work on the farm is paying off.
Now, they’re even dreaming about the future. Naoi has set a goal to provide higher education to her children all the way through college – a goal that is now within her reach. She’s also building a business of not only growing vegetables, but creating other goods from the harvests she produces.
Their story shows that all it takes is a small gift like seeds, the right training, and a hard-working attitude to transform a family’s future for generations.
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