Brown de Mercado, Celeste and Joel

God called me (Celeste) to missions when I was nine years old. When asked why I wanted to give my life to Christ while becoming a member of my church in SC, I replied “I want to help Jesus.” It wasn’t until more than 14 years later that I understood how I wanted to help Jesus —through my service to Him and others. I know that God doesn’t need my help to do anything, but He has requested it all the same. He has given me amazing opportunities to be involved in the work that He is doing around the world.

While in Boston, MA, I realized I could use my gifts and talents to do God’s work. In 2000 I applied to be a missionary with Food for the Hungry (FH) and in 2002 I left for Bolivia. I have had various growth opportunities since joining FH. My current assignment is as a Project Coordinator for International Operations. Through FH, God also blessed me with my life partner, Joel. He is Bolivian and we serve together in Food for the Hungry from our home base in Durham, NC.

I (Joel) had the chance to start working with FH my last year of college. It was an amazing experience to see how people in FH served with a high level of professionalism, while at the same time loving God with such passion. Bolivia is a very animistic culture (people worship created things, i.e. the sun, land, etc.) and Christians can tend to separate their work from God. But in Food for the Hungry it was different. I had the chance to see the poorest people of my country and how they fight to survive daily. This touched my heart and I felt God’s call to the ministry. As was true for Celeste, God has also given me opportunities to grow in my profession, for which I am very grateful.

God has called us to serve with FH and we are blessed in that we are using our gifts and talents for His Kingdom. Celeste continues to support global operations. Joel continues to support our Child-focused Community Transformation model part-time, while pursuing his Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In our distinct teams, we are supporting operations in more than 18 countries, impacting some 44,000 children around the world.  We are so excited about this ministry that God has given us and we would love for you to be part of it!

Please prayerfully consider supporting Celeste & Joel with a special gift or a monthly pledge and become part of their support team.