Finding God in the Missouri River

I am consistently surprised by the things that come across my desk. As a writer in the marketing and communications department, I see a lot of different assignments come through, from stories from the field to interviews with Christian musicians about why they support Food for the Hungry.

However, some of my favorite assignments have been when I get the opportunity to interview and write about those who support the work of FH. Sponsors. Donors. Families. Teenagers. Single parents.

Basically…you.

I love finding out what drives people to support our work, why global poverty is important to them and how supporting the most vulnerable has impacted their lives.

Photo of Melissa Peterson holding her children's book "The One of a Kind Golden Rock"

Melissa Kathleen Peterson, an FH child sponsor, authored and illustrated "The One of a Kind Golden Rock."

As an avid reader and writer, I was extremely pleased to make the acquaintance of a fellow writer and FH child sponsor, Melissa Kathleen Peterson. A San Antonio-based illustrator, stay-at-home mom and ice skating coach, Melissa and her family have been sponsoring a young boy from Ethiopia for about four years.

Melissa’s sponsored child, Abdurahiman lives with his grandmother and brother. His father died from AIDS and his mother was abducted and sold into slavery. When his grandmother is sick, Abdurahiman is responsible for cooking the meals and taking care of her and his brother. But Melissa knows that because of her sponsorship, Food for the Hungry can help Abdurahiman emotionally, physically and spiritually.

In the Bible it says to help widows and orphans. We are the hands and feet of Christ. By giving of ourselves through time, talents or financially, we are helping others. But also, it unifies us as people. We pour out love and in return, on so many occasions, we get love back.

In addition to sponsoring a child, Melissa wanted to give even more through her artistic endeavors. She is an illustrator and children’s book author. She recently published a book called “The One of a Kind Golden Rock.”

The story is about two children (based on her twins) and a minnow fish that lives in the Missouri River. The children gather rocks from the river and meet a minnow, who ends up teaching them about the Holy Trinity. The Golden Rock represents God and the three creatures in the story that gather on the rock represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Being a child sponsor, Melissa knows that a little can go a long way. After writing the book, she decided to donate a percentage of the profits to Food for the Hungry. Currently, her book is being sold on Amazon and in Barnes and Nobles.

Through her writing, art and love for God, Melissa encourages others to help those in need.

Children drink dirty water every day that is polluted by animal waste because it is the only water they have to drink. Children die needlessly. Women and children are traded and abused for sex and slavery. AIDS is rampant. People are persecuted because of their religious beliefs. We are blessed that we are born where we are. I feel it is a calling to help those in need, both spiritually and physically. And FH helps with the most basic needs that we take for granted in the U.S.

Thank you, Melissa, for your support and inspiration!

Click here to learn more about sponsoring a child with Food for the Hungry.

Related posts:

  1. Finding our fathers again
  2. “The river moved so quickly … all we could do was run”
  3. Party in Belo: How child sponsorship succeeds
  4. Sponsoring a child: Little things add up
  5. Child sponsorship blesses families in two countries

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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