HN 23 | 29 Years and Counting


We first were introduced to Food for the Hungry (FH) in 1989 by a friend, Brian Robertson. He had just finished university and was heading off to Thailand to put his degree to use on a water development project with FH. The more we learned about FH the more we liked what they were doing. When we heard about the Child Sponsorship program we prayed about it and discussed it with our children; we thought it to be a good fit.

We’ve been sponsoring children ever since—29 years and counting.

Linda and Jake with pictures of Clarabel, Arnoldo, and Pedro.

The Child Sponsorship program has been a great blessing for us as a family. What a joy to know we can help in this way to encourage a child to grow in their education both at school and in the home with their families. 

We have enjoyed getting to know the children the most. The FH staff and the translators for each of the children have been amazing at keeping us informed with updates, Christmas cards, and of course, yearly photos. Encouraging the children to write letters and to draw pictures has given us a little window into each of their lives. The recent “get-to-know-me-better” letters have been full of wonderful information.

“I was around eight years old when we started sponsoring Clarabel. It was the first time I had heard of the Dominican Republic and she quickly became an extension of our family. We would write to her and pick out stickers to send. Her birthday was the same day as Grandma’s so we always celebrated on April 5th. I am so very thankful that she became a part of our lives. It was through this small act that my eyes were opened to the world around me. It was my first introduction to the idea of serving others in other countries and to the idea of missions. Now that I have a family of my own there was no question, we wanted to sponsor children through Food for the Hungry. We chose two, a boy and a girl in the same age range as our two biological children. And it all started with one little girl, Clarabel.”             –Terri-lyn, the Jackson’s eldest daughter 

The first child we sponsored was Clarabel Batista from the Dominican Republic. She’s the child we sponsored the longest—for 10 years—through all her schooling until she graduated in 1999. Our second sponsored child was Arnoldo Lem Lay from Guatemala, whom we sponsored until 2008 when his community graduated from FH programing. The third child we supported was Carlos. Sadly, we were only able to sponsor him for a few years as he stopped going to school and left the program. Our fourth and current sponsored child is Pedro Valesco Marcos, also from Guatemala.

All of the messages and drawings from the children are special to us. It is so great to see a child’s progress each year. To see Pedro grow and mature brings his life into ours, like experiencing your own children growing up. Over the last 29 years, we have watched the FH Child Sponsorship program grow and develop, too. 

We are excited to see new communities graduate from the program to be more self-sufficient and to end the cycle of poverty. We have also enjoyed purchasing gifts for a family through the Gifts for Change Gift Guides when we could. These many opportunities enable us to help, in a small way, a family in a developing community. This program's stewardship with the funds provided give children and their communities the opportunity to grow and develop to their full potential and dreams.





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Food for the Hungry: HN 23 | 29 Years and Counting
HN 23 | 29 Years and Counting
Food for the Hungry
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