Overcoming Poverty One Family at a Time

In Zaachila, on the outskirts of Oaxaca City, Mexico, live many impoverished families who’ve traveled from distant areas in search of more opportunities and a better life…only to find themselves confronted with the same devastating and debilitating effects of poverty: hunger, joblessness, water-borne illness, lack of education, gang violence, drug and alcohol use. Our Mexico children’s program, Trigo y Miel, was placed directly in the middle of this community to be a shining light in the lives of these families.

Owen, Belen, and their two children, Caleb and Hannah, have seen their fair share of struggle, but God has done amazing things in their family through Trigo y Miel and Operation Enduring Homes, our local homebuilding and block-making business/ministry run by missionaries Tom and Wendy Hogan. When they first joined the Trigo y Miel program, the family was in a desperate position. Owen had been disabled from an accident and was unable to work for seven months. At the time, Belen was pregnant and limited in her ability to help provide for the family. They joyfully joined the Trigo y Miel program and God began writing a beautiful story in their family as the years passed.

After Owen recovered, he began working with Tom at Operation Enduring Homes. Their children began to thrive as the family grew holistically through Forward Edge’s programs.

Owen stepped up at work and eventually became Tom’s right-hand man, the one he trusts with the business’ finances and deliveries. Meanwhile, Caleb and Hannah have exceled through the support they receive at the Trigo y Miel program. There they receive nutritious lunches daily to help stretch the family’s finances further, as well as educational support and tutoring to keep them on pace towards graduating. This has been a big challenge for many children in Mexico – and around the world – as COVID-related school closures have set many children back in their education. However, Trigo y Miel staff have worked diligently to make sure children don’t fall behind in their studies.

“Our children have a better future with their studies, and will not lack the opportunity for a profession as we do,” Owen and Belen shared with a deep sense of pride.

For many years, Owen, Belen and their children lived in rented homes made of sheet metal. These homes were too small for the family and didn’t protect them from the weather, often leaking when it rained. In 2021, their prayers were answered when they received the 11th house from Operation Enduring Homes! “We can think of few folks who are so deserving of a new home,” Wendy Hogan remarked.

The transformation of this entire family has been invaluable for Caleb and Hannah as they grow and develop. They’re witnessing a God that does miracles in the lives of those who trust Him, and they’re learning that as they grow, the sky’s the limit.

Another huge milestone for the family happened in the summer of 2021 when, after many years together, Owen and Belen finally made the decision to get married. As part of the Trigo y Miel church, led by program director and pastor Victor Velasco, they had learned the importance of following the word of God. They shared, “Since we are giving our children an example, it made us realize that we need to make good decisions according to what God indicates us to do.”

Everything Trigo y Miel and Operation Enduring Homes have invested in this family will only be magnified in the lives of Caleb and Hannah as they grow up in a completely different reality than their parents experienced. They have every opportunity needed to break the cycle of poverty for generations to come.

This story was shared in our 2021 Annual Report. You can view our full report here >>


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Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Hola (hello), my name is Erika Dali

  • location


  • 18 yrs. old


Entered program: September 2016

Erika lives with her mother, father and little sister in a small two-room sheetmetal house that they built on a piece of land they inherited from her grandparents. Erika's parents work on painting projects but they don't bring in much money; her father also hires himself out as a taxi-driver. Her sister, Gimena, also attends the Trigo y Miel program.

Sponsorship Level What's this?

Three $38 sponsorships are needed to cover the complete holistic care of one child. Cover one, two, or three sponsorships.