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Heaven's Family Magazine
April 2011 Issue

The Sewage Shack Redemption

The Food Fund at Work in Mexico

Chuck King, Food Ministry

food-woman

Leonila Velazquez

“Mrs. Velazquez, I regret to inform you that you have breast cancer.”

Her doctor’s grim words may well have sounded bittersweet to Leonila Velazquez, as she contemplated a diagnosis that could signal an end to her life, a life that had been filled with tragedy.

Twenty years earlier, Leonila’s husband was brutally murdered, leaving her to raise ten children on her own. The bereaved family, marginalized descendants of Mexico’s original Indians, lived in an impoverished mountain village in Mexico. After her husband’s death, Leonila feared for her own life and the lives of her children, so she fled with them to another village and moved into the only home she could find—a wooden shack adjacent to a sewage pond. There Leonila struggled to feed and raise her children by selling plants that she grew around her shack.

Over the years all but one of Leonila’s children moved out, but all still live in abject poverty just like her. Leonila hasn’t seen some of them in 14 years because they live so far away. Sadly, most are alcoholics. Two are dead. And Leonila still lives in her shack beside the sewage pond—now with her common-law husband of many years. For her, a prognosis of death may have seemed like a relief.

Mexico’s government provides some healthcare benefits for its native Indian population—making possible the cancer surgery that Leonila needed, and which extended her life here on earth. Still, Leonila’s greatest problem and potential tragedy loomed before her. Although cancer-free in her body, the cancer of sin in her soul remained, threatening to one day drag her from her sewage-pond shack to a lake that burns with fire.

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The Fitzpatrick family

God, however, the One who sent His Son from a throne in heaven to a cross on earth, so loved Leonila that He also sent a missionary family to her remote mountain region of Mexico. Those missionaries, Jason and Nicole Fitzpatrick, discovered Leonila’s situation, and they began regularly bringing her food—made possible by Heaven’s Family’s Food Fund—as she recovered from her surgery. They also brought her Jesus, and Leonila and her common-law husband eventually gave their lives to Him. Jason and Nicole are happy to report that both will soon be legally married and baptized. Now they have a beautiful home waiting for them in heaven—near a crystal river that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1).

The Bigger Picture:

Jason and Nicole Fitzpatrick wisely follow the example of Jesus, who not only preached the gospel, but also fed the hungry. Heaven’s Family’s Food Fund exists to provide food for impoverished believers and nonbelievers who are listening to the gospel. Your gifts can nourish Someone who will one day say to you, “I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat” (Matt. 25:35).

You can also financially assist the worthy ministry of Jason and Nicole Fitzpatrick, who are making disciples in Mexico, by clicking here. Thanks so much.

Provide food for the poor

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This Month's Articles

Strategic Stewardship

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Parting Shot: Life is Good

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This happy little Mexican obviously knows the Lord! — David