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Risking Arrest to Feed His Family

Central America

40-year-old Joel Arturo is a fisherman who works on a river near his home in Central America. During the height of the COVID pandemic, the father of three told us how desperate they’d become. “I was crying when I told my wife that there was no more corn in the bin,” said Joel. “But we couldn't let our children die of hunger. I had to do something.”

Joel told us he risked everything to go out during government lockdowns to try to catch some fish. He said he saw military boats patrolling the river arresting those found outside of their homes. Joel’s daughter Jackelin knew her dad was taking a risk for them. “I was afraid that my father would be taken by the police to a place where he would get sick and die,” she said. 

Joel said he went without regular work for nearly three months. And even when he took the risk of arrest and caught a few fish—he said people were afraid to buy from him.  

“Every day I got down on my knees and said, ‘God, what I'm going to feed my kids tomorrow?‘” Joel told us. “Asking for food doesn't feel very good. But the little I got, I gave to my children so they could eat.“

Jackelin told us she remembers the day they ran out of food. 

“We had no sugar, no coffee, no oil, we had nothing to eat. And went to sleep on an empty stomach,” said Jackelin. 

When Operation Blessing learned about the family’s need, we provided them with emergency food on three different occasions until the quarantines were lifted and Joel could return to work. 

“I thank God for the food and for bringing Operation Blessing. God used them to bless us,” said Joel.    

“Thank you Operation Blessing for the food you gave to us,” added Jackelin.

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