EL SALVADOR – Marta once faced a heartbreak that no mother should have to face — looking into the eyes of her beloved children and sending them to bed hungry. Now, thanks to a small business opportunity provided by Operation Blessing partners, she will never have to face that nightmare again.
Although single mother Marta worked as hard as she could to provide for her three children, Isaias (11), Anabel (10), and William (5), she never seemed able to make ends meet. For years she raised and sold eggs, as she had done growing up, but when she couldn’t keep up with her expenses, she switched to washing and ironing clothes for others. After long, hard days of labor, there still was never enough.
Marta remembers well those awful times. “One day it was 6 o’clock in the afternoon, and I knew that dinner time was fast approaching.” Although she was already behind on her account at the local store, the desperate mother had to try. She begged the store to give her some rice and beans, because she knew her children wouldn’t eat anything that day otherwise, but the store turned her away empty handed.
Dejected, Marta returned home trying to figure out what to tell her children. The worst moment came when she opened the door and saw them playing on the floor. “One of them stopped and asked, ‘Mommy, what did you bring us from the store.’ I did not know what to answer.”
She tried to get the children to go to sleep. Her youngest, William, said, “Mommy, but I’m hungry, and I do not want to sleep on an empty stomach.” That truly broke Marta’s heart. She backed into a corner of the house and started to cry.
Other days she and her oldest son would go out and pick local greens called chipilín to make a simple soup to try and sustain them.
Operation Blessing heard about Marta’s story while working on greenhouses in her area. Seeing the struggle of this hardworking single mother, OBI decided to help her open a business selling eggs, grains, and beans. The fresh start with a full stock of supplies and the diversity of goods will allow Marta to succeed with her business this time around.
Perhaps most importantly, Marta and her children will be able to spend more time together working the business as a family. Anabel said, “After coming home from school, I will help my mother to sell the eggs. I am happy because now we are going to spend more time together, and I am going with my brothers.”
And Isaias adds, “I’m going to help my mother weigh beans and keep the accounts.”
Marta can hardly believe the blessings that have come her way. Her children are happy, and she no longer fears that they will go to bed hungry. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of families like Marta’s!
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