Building healthy and strong families in Peru


LIMA, PERU–When Elizabeth Mejía Laguna first came to the Buckner Family Hope Center, a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering recipient, she was shy and kept to herself. She often stayed in her home and did not interact with her neighbors.

“There was no light in my house. I was always behind closed doors,” Elizabeth said.

She struggled in her marriage and lacked resources to buy proper nutritional food, so her young daughter, Luana, suffered from anemia. As a first-time parent, Elizabeth did not know how to care for Luana and how to show her love.

“I didn't know how to raise her. I had so many problems inside,” Elizabeth said. After attending classes and meeting with a psychologist, Elizabeth saw a transformation within her own life and in her home. Instruction from parenting classes helped Elizabeth and her husband, José, learn how to express love to Luana. They began to play and interact with her. The couple also learned how to interact and dialogue with one another to strengthen their marriage.

“I started opening up,” Elizabeth said. “I discovered that, when you open your windows, light comes in.”

Another much-needed resource the family received was Manna Packs, a nutritional rice-based meal loaded with vitamins and protein. By incorporating the Manna Packs into their weekly meals, Elizabeth saw immediate health improvements. Luana overcame her anemia and the family began to physically strengthen. Gifts to the Hunger Offering provide Manna Packs and water filters to families at the Hope Center to meet immediate physical needs but also address the severe spiritual poverty.

Elizabeth and José expressed their gratitude to God for using the Hope Center to change their lives.

“Without God, I would not be me, who I am now,” Elizabeth said. “We love God very much. He is our strength to face each day.”

The family is now involved in a local church and growing in their faith. Elizabeth’s family is one of close to 200 families served through Buckner’s Family Hope Centers in Lima. Through the Centers, families receive Bible teaching, life skills, parenting classes and access to psychological care, providing a holistic approach to family care. By meeting the spiritual, physical and emotional need of families, Buckner builds healthy families that can withstand the trials of life.

The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering partners with 130 hunger relief and development ministries worldwide like Buckner who help individuals overcome the cycle of poverty and shine Christ’s love in the darkness. The next 5th Sunday Hunger Offering is on September 30, 2018. Click here for resources to share in your church.

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