“Another princess.” That’s what Luz calls the little life growing inside her womb. She sits inside her tiny shack house—just a short distance from Colombia’s Venezuelan border—and speaks with all the tenderness and care of a pregnant mom. Her little girl, who she already calls Samara, holds a special place in her mom’s heart, for Samara is the only family Luz has close.
Three years ago, she, like nearly five million other Venezuelans (since 2015), fled oppression, conflict, and economic collapse in her homeland. There was no food, jobs, or health care. Luz was starving.
“You would need to stay in the queue all night just to get food for the next day,” she said. “On many occasions, when it was finally your turn, they would tell you, ‘We ran out. There’s no more.’ I would feel very frustrated for not being able to put food on the table at home. Besides, I had two babies. Sometimes, I felt like pulling my hair out and screaming.”
With few choices, Luz left her two children with her sister and went in desperate search of work and food. She trekked to neighboring Colombia to send what little she could earn back to support them. “When I crossed the border, I felt my soul tearing apart,” Luz said. “I was leaving my family behind, my children, and my country.”
Luz joined the rapidly growing wave of people driven from their homes by hunger and human conflict—from Ethiopia to Venezuela to Ukraine.
“I know [my family] are all right, but it hurts not having them by my side. It hurts so much,” Luz told us, tears streaming down her face.
Hunger has torn apart so many families like Luz’s. “Hunger is an enemy to many,” she said.
But where hunger grows, so can hope, and God uses your prayers and gifts to show that He is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
With your support, a Samaritan’s Purse team is on the ground in Luz’s settlement of migrant families, helping alleviate her burden in Jesus’ Name.
Along with vital medical care, hygiene supplies, and emotional and spiritual support, our team is providing her and thousands of families with mercados—baskets of food. Each mercado is filled with dried soup mix, beans, flour, salt, sugar, and oil—the essentials to sustain a hungry family. Canadian farmers grew the vegetables and grains that make up the soup mix in each basket.
In late 2021, over 800,000 servings of this highly nutritious soup mix arrived from Canada to help more than 22,000 displaced Venezuelans in Colombia. These distributions are ongoing.
This critical food aid is a lifeline for Luz.
“I have felt very blessed,” Luz said. “I have the privilege to receive help and be a beneficiary.” When asked about the people who have made it possible for her to receive these supplies, Luz said, “I would bless them thousands of times and tell them ‘thank you.’”
As the hunger crisis among the world’s most vulnerable worsens, more will be needed. Skyrocketing food prices and deepening human conflict will make emergency food even more vital. Other Samaritan’s Purse agriculture projects are also needed to help families reduce their need for relief in times of crisis.
These farming and livestock projects in more than 20 countries equip people to grow nourishing food in good times and bad. And alongside local churches, they open doors to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Amid Luz’s struggle to feed herself and her family, your lifesaving food support gives her hope: “No matter how much in need we are right now, we should never lose our hopes…With God’s power, we will be victorious.”
More than a billion people worldwide are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Through your gifts, Samaritan’s Purse is providing lasting solutions through hands-on farming training, home garden projects, and practical education about nutrition, as well as desperately-needed food staples for hungry families in emergency situations.