Stories of hope

Featured, February 2022, FRONTLINES

Encouraging Their Unbreakable Spirit

Jail, abuse, foster care, robbery, gangs, and a debilitating injury. Just one of these might be enough to break a person’s spirit. But, for Anita Alvarez and her family, this was just normal life.

During the three years Anita’s daughter spent in jail as a result of gang activities, Anita’s three oldest grandsons came to live with her and her husband, Oscar. Space was limited in their small, two-bedroom mobile home, but bunkbeds made it possible for them to share one of the bedrooms.

Anita’s two youngest grandchildren were sent to foster care, where food was withheld as a form of punishment. After their foster mother was reported, the children were allowed to come live with Anita and Oscar. They added another bunk bed to the bedroom and moved some of their furniture into a storage unit.

Anita spends most of her day sitting in an office chair, but it’s not because she works in an office. After a fall that injured her back, Anita can’t walk more than a few feet without intense pain. The office chair allows her the mobility to maneuver around her small mobile home.

With only Oscar’s income to support the family, they often found themselves in need of additional resources to feed the children. Pastor Netza of Iglesia Casa de Dios Palmdale learned of their situation and began making regular deliveries of Food Paks to Anita’s home. The relationship between Pastor Netza and Anita’s family grew with every visit.

Today, Anita’s situation looks a bit different.

After her release from jail, Anita and Oscar’s daughter was united with her children when she came to live with them, as well. She got a job in social work and has been able to cover the costs of food and rent.

Anita is still unable to walk much, but she has begun a business selling homemade bracelets to help support the family.

Recently, the family began making plans to move into a bigger place. Just days before Pastor Netza’s most recent visit, he received a phone call from Anita and learned that their storage unit was broken into. All the additional furniture that had been moved out of their home to make room for her grandchildren was stolen, along with the children’s extra clothing and toys that didn’t fit in their rooms. This has delayed their plans of moving, as they will need to replace a lot of what was stolen.

Your gifts brought hope when they needed it most; now they plan for a better future.

Thanks to a long-standing partnership between Children’s Hunger Fund and Costco, a dresser—one of the items Anita said was most needed—recently became available. Pastor Netza was able to pick it up and deliver it to the Alvarez home in late January.

Though Pastor Netza only delivers Food Paks to Anita’s home a few times a year, the relationship that he’s formed with the family remains strong. The children are full of smiles when Pastor Netza drops by to visit. We are thankful for every gift from faithful supporters like you because that means more pastors and volunteers are equipped with the tools to form lasting relationships with families in their communities. As we look back on thirty years of ministry, we hope you are blessed to hear how your gifts have brought food, fellowship, and the hope of the gospel to families in need right here in the US and around the world.

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