International Meals


Read the following true story:

mariaMy name is Maria. When I was young, I dreamed that one day I’d graduate from high school. But it didn’t turn out that way. I have eight children. And life has been hard. We live in Escalante—me, my husband Levi, our kids. Levi works in the sugar cane fields and it’s hard to keep everyone fed. I used to wonder sometimes how we would survive, especially when Typhoon Yolanda destroyed our home. Last year, I was invited to join ICM’s Transform program. I wasn’t sure at first how it could help us but I decided to give it a try. Over the four months, I made lots of new friends. And I started going to the church where it was held. Transform helped the church grow from six to 60! The pastor helped me see God’s blessings and to get along better with Levi. We talk out our problems now, rather than yelling. The thing I liked best about Transform was the Business-in-a-Box kits. I’ve always wanted to cook but I never knew what. And I didn’t know how. I started making puto cheese and banana cake. I couldn’t believe it when people started buying them from me! I just needed new ideas. I’ve been saving too! I save pesos with my Savings Group and I’ve even bought a pig. We are working on building a better house with our own comfort room (toilet). I make sure that my kids go to school every day now! With the money from my puto cakes, I give them the fare for the boat trip across the river. And Isend them with healthy lunches. And the best thing is, I’m going to graduate! I’m taking an adult education class and I’m going to get my high school certificate. Dreams can come true! I am so happy and full of joy because I know the future is now brighter for us all.

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