Marcos Ramirez had always supported his wife and four children with the money he made from working in the coffee fields near their rural village in Guatemala. But when there was no more work to be done, Marcos couldn’t find a new job, and his family began to go hungry, sometimes surviving on nothing more than tortillas with salt. At one point, his infant daughter Elvera weighed only two pounds, a dangerously low weight even for a newborn.
Thankfully, Esperanza de Vida — a local Christian outreach supported by Cross International Catholic Outreach — learned about Marcos’ situation and intervened. The first thing they did was take Elvera to an emergency feeding center and nurse her back to health for a month, to save her from what would have been a certain and painful death from starvation. Then they built a new house for Elvera’s family and provided them with free daily meals.
With the help of generous American Catholics, Cross Catholic has shipped more than $7 million in food, medicine, clothes, and other supplies to Esperanza de Vida, to bring relief to desperately poor families and severely malnourished children such as Elvera in the garbage dumps and remote areas of Guatemala.
Shipping humanitarian goods sends a tangible message of God’s love to someone who may never have read the Bible or stepped inside a church. While your support helped feed the bodies of the hungry, their hearts were also edified by the knowledge that a Christian cared enough to step out and do something about their need.
Or as one of our ministry partners in Guatemala put it: “When people visit and see the terrible poverty of the people we help, they ask: ‘Why does this exist?’ My answer is that it’s an opportunity for us to love. God has left the job for us to do — to be his hands on earth, to be the good Samaritan.”