Matthew 25:34-35 - "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.'"
In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus draws a picture of what it means to love others: Care for "the least of these."
Children are one of the most marginalized demographics in the world. We believe that in order to be agents of lasting change, we must focus on changing the trajectories of the most vulnerable members of this population.
By focusing on providing fundamental needs - nutrition, clean water, sanitation - we can give vulnerable populations a better foothold, leading to improved health and development. Improved health and development creates more and better opportunities over the course of a lifetime.
We believe that we are called to honor Jesus through our service to these vulnerable children and families.
Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
- Hebrews 6:18b-19a
We, who love and follow Jesus, are anchored by our faith in him. Our love for him is manifested in our love for the people we serve. Ultimately, it is this hope and faith in Jesus that we offer to our world.
Guatemala has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition among children in the world. This is not just a matter of not enough food intake; it means that children are not receiving the proper amounts of micronutrients - the vitamins & minerals necessary for physical and mental health and development.
Research has shown that the first 1,000 days of life - the time between conception and a child's 2nd birthday - is a unique window of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established. While the human brain continues to develop and change throughout life, the most rapid period of brain growth and its period of highest plasticity is in the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life. ("The first 1,000 days of life: The brain’s window of opportunity," Sarah Cusick, PhD and Michael K. Georgieff, MD, via Unicef)
In other words, a child's nutrition in the first 1000 days of life will have a permanent impact on his or her cognitive and physiological development.
Ancora Ministries is working to maximize this development through nutrition programs in the rural southern region of Guatemala.
But access to sufficient nutrition is only one part of the battle: From water sources contaminated with pathogens to a lack of latrines/bathrooms, to open cook fires that leave children inhaling smoke for hours each day, these families face health challenges that significantly hamper their ability to grow and develop to their full potential.
Our goal is to offer help that is otherwise unavailable to these vulnerable populations:
We believe that clean water, latrines, and safe cookstoves, combined with nutrition programs, can create the kind of impact that will change generational impact in entire communities.
Child nutrition is not just a problem in developing nations. In the state of Texas, 60.6% of all school-aged children are classified as economically disadvantaged. In Central Texas, that number is nearly 50%.
We work with HaysHope2Go (keep the link in there) to provide food for children when they are not in school. HaysHope2Go serves children in Hays County, TX who are experiencing food insecurity by sending “backpack bags” of food home with them each weekend. This ensures that the children have enough to eat until they return to school on Mondays, where they benefit from breakfast and lunch programs.
HaysHope2Go also provides “school vacation” bags for extended times off, like holidays and Spring Break, and provides groceries weekly to families in the community, as well as bigger distribution events several times per year.
We provide manpower, leadership, and financial support to the mission of HaysHope2Go through all of these initiatives.
We endeavor to expand our partnerships in ways that continue our mission.
HaysHope2Go provides filling, easy-to-prepare food to food-insecure children in Hays County, TX.
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