On my desk…Helpless…but praying

Young girl holding paper airplane in Ameya, Nicaragua.Reflecting on my first trip to the field

You may have noticed that my title did not say ‘On my desk this week.’ As I’m writing posts about what I’m working on each week, I realized there are so many things I’ve worked on in the past that did not get the opportunity to be shared. And they should be!

So, I’d like to start a short series of posts about a recent trip I went on with Food for the Hungry to Nicaragua and Guatemala. At the time of my return, I didn’t have a proper outlet to relay this experience and share about FH’s work in these two beautiful, but impoverished countries.

I’ll preface the series by telling you why I was sent on this trip. In Nicaragua, I was shadowing a Community to Community (C2C) church team that was visiting the communities where they sponsor children. I documented their journey and experiences through photographs and interviews. In Guatemala, I visited two communities and documented FH’s work through photographs and interviews as well. All in all, I took more than 3,000 photos in two weeks and did about 30 interviews.

Looking through the photos

Before I delve into the details of the trip itself, I have to comment about how I felt after looking through all of these photos upon my return.

When I look at the faces of the little ones, my heart breaks over and over again. But at the same time it weeps with joy. I want so much for them. I want someone to tell them every day that they are loved. They are valued. They are important in this world. God has a plan for each one of them. I want someone to hug them every day. I want so much love for them. I want someone to tell them how beautiful they are. How innocent. How much potential there is for them. I want their bellies to be full at night and their hearts sleepy with contentment. I want health for them. I want opportunity and clean clothes. Shoes. Loving parents. Happy childhood memories. Rest.

Small boy poses for a photo while in class in Rio Azul, Guatemala

Helpless…but praying

I feel helpless to these wants and can only lift these prayers up to the Lord, who provides everything. I miss them already and thank them from the bottom of my heart for sharing their honesty, pain, love and joy with me. For giving me a piece of their heart, for all of mine.

But I still struggle with the helpless part. I’ve accepted that I cannot personally do these things for these children every day. I have to trust those who can – like FH field staff. They work one-on-one every day with children, parents, families, leaders and pastors in the villages. As part of our ministry work, they can personally tell the children ‘God loves you and has a plan for you!’ My heart fills up with gratitude just thinking about it. Knowing that as I’m praying for these wants, the Lord is already answering them. But I still have to play my part and you should too.

Not just through prayer, but by considering sponsoring a child. I hope you do. In fact, I’ll add that hope to my prayers. After all, with a God this big, what’s one more prayer request?

Find out more about Food for the Hungry child sponsorship -> http://www.fh.org/give/sponsor




About Esther Martinez

Esther Martinez is a Multimedia writer and photographer at Food for the Hungry. She is an Arizona native who loves to travel. Her background is in photography and journalism. Outside of work she enjoys discovering new foodie restaurants, embarking on creative photography projects and scouting the local music scene. Through her blog, you'll be able to see what comes across her desk each month.

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