September 1, 2020. As posted on Wells of Hope Facebook page by Ted and Miriam van der Zalm: “In sharp contrast to the distinct brown, moisture starved colour of the surrounding mountain terrain during the dry season, it is amazing how the rains of the last couple of months have completely changed the visual panorama of the landscape! As far as the eye can encompass, a sea of vibrant, deep green colour of maturing cornstalks fill every available inch of the mountain slopes of Santa Maria Jalapa. The complete transformation, of a seemingly barren landscape, cannot help but make one stand in awe at the miraculous power of nature! For centuries, the people in this area have relied on the generous rainy season to allow them to grow sufficient food to carry them through until the following seasonal rains and harvest. Last years rains were not so good, which had an extremely negative impact on the local food supply. Coupled with the added challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the recipe for severe hardship was complete. Hungry single mothers and walked for hours with their young children in order to line up at the gate of the Wells of Hope compound by sunrise, begging for food relief.
The challenge seemed insurmountable but through the generosity of the Wells of Hope family of donors, we were able to initiate a food station in a central location of the mountains. For the last three months, we were providing over two thousand meals a day! A living testimony that, with enough Love, the seemingly impossible does become possible! This huge undertaking was made a reality due to the large number of volunteers that came to the table with their gifts and talents in order to help feed their brothers and sisters in need.
Along with the large numbers, it was the one-on-one intimate moments that have seared life-long memories in the heart. A single mother confided in me that it would be her son’s birthday on the same day that they come to the food station. The nine-year-old boy had never experienced a real birthday celebration. We dug out a backpack from the Wells of Hope “Packs of Hope” program, included some clothing, shoes and a soccer ball. To make Cristian’s birthday complete, a cake and candles were brought to the food station from a bakery in Jalapa. The joy on Cristian’s face when he saw the cake and when everyone sang out the Spanish edition of “Happy Birthday” will be remembered forever!
We have been delivering food to rural communities too distant to travel to our food station. The food is prepped on site embracing the local manner of cooking on open fires. The elderly who are too feeble to walk have food brought directly to their home. Cristina cries every week that I bring her food ration. Through her tears she heaps blessings on the Wells of Hope organization for the food that has kept her alive.
With crops maturing and people beginning to live off the harvest, Wells of Hope will begin to scale back the food aid program while continuing to reach out to the most vulnerable. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this miracle possible!”