06 Oct In the Midst of Struggles, God is Still Working – Food for the Hungry
This story isn’t over yet. Mork Nget and his family have experienced incredible breakthroughs, overcome overwhelming challenges, and taken enormous steps forward in their fight to break free from extreme poverty. Through the compassionate work of Food for the Hungry supporters, their lives today are far different than they were even a year ago. And God is still working, even now, to bring about transformation.
A Life of Struggle
Mork Nget and his family are among the poorest of the poor in their Cambodian community. Like many of their neighbors, they struggled to put food on the table, pay for school fees, and meet other basic needs. But on top of these already difficult circumstances, three out of four family members suffer with physical disabilities:
- Nhip Tola, the eldest son, has a hand disability.
- 11-year-old Nhip Seyla faces a leg impairment.
- And Mork Nget himself, the father and provider for his family, struggles with his vision.
There was no consistent source of income for their family. They grew some cassava plants, found items in the forest to sell, and raised some livestock on a small scale, but it never seemed to be enough. And the little Mork Nget had to sell wasn’t particularly desirable at the local markets, so they didn’t fetch much of a price. But to sell items that were more in demand would require training and equipment that Mork Nget and his wife, Toch Yin, simply didn’t have. And neither parent had graduated from school, with Mork Nget only attending through the 3rd grade, further limiting their options for work.
In light of such dire circumstances, it seemed history would repeat itself.
“Most of our money was spent on the medical treatment of my sons,” Mork Nget shares. “Due to this poverty, my oldest son could not continue his study, so he could only read and write a little bit.” And the youngest son, too, had to drop out of school, as all four members of the family needed to work to make ends meet.
The hopelessness he felt was overwhelming. But God was still working.
A Family on the Brink
Amid such challenging circumstances, tensions grew high within the family. And relationships became strained to their breaking point.
“At one time, my mother was displeased with my wife,” Mork Nget recalls, “and believed she was one of the main reasons our family lived at such a high poverty level.”
And that’s not all. “All these things together, I was burnt out and became violent with my family,” he continues, describing actions he regrets today. “I was always disappointed when I had to encounter all these issues and concerns. Sometimes I felt hopeless, discouraged, and even blamed myself for the way I made my family live with this much of an unfortunate destiny.”
At one point, the family stopped living together as a result of the abuse. “It made my family stay far away from one another,” Nhip Seyla, the youngest son, also remembers. “My older brother did not like my father in the past, because he always became violent with my mom.”
But God was still working, even then. Though the family could not see it yet, He was making a way for FH to enter this community and walk alongside them on their journey out of poverty.
God at Work
The Lord has called FH to seek an end to ALL forms of human poverty. That’s why, together with the prayers and support of generous partners, FH goes to the hard places and walks with the world’s most vulnerable people like Mork Nget and his family.
It’s not just about making sure they have food to eat and can send their kids to school, but also bringing about reconciled relationships within their family and community. “FH trained me to understand the root cause issues and concerns which led my family into poverty,” Mork Nget recalls. Such insights encourage families to focus on solving problems, rather than spreading blame.
And Nhip Seyla says his father has dramatically changed and his abuse has stopped. “He looks after all of us with love and helps my mother to make our living better,” he shares. “Everyone in the community has changed to like and love us, too. And my family is starting to live in happiness.”
In addition, the father lists a number of helpful programs and trainings FH provided to improve his family’s situation, including:
- Training and coaching in agricultural techniques
- Encouragement for him and his wife on the importance of children’s education
- Guidance in leveraging every potential resource for income generation
- Training proper health and sanitation, including latrine use and handwashing
- Providing 22 chickens to raise and make a better livelihood.
“After FH worked with my family and my community, my life is different from my past,” Mork Nget says today. “Although I don’t have everything I need, I have good enough food for my family to eat.”
What’s more: God’s not done yet!
God is Still Working
Looking forward, Mork Nget no longer sees a hopeless future but one that is bright and full of possibilities.
“I would like to see my family’s livelihood changed further through raising chickens and extending new sources of income,” he shares of his dream. “I’m committed to working harder to support my son’s education. I want to live a better life and have more money to let my family eat, drink, get healthier, have a good relationship with neighbors, and feel more valuable to the people surrounding me. And I want to share all my knowledge and good experience with my neighbors.”