VAM's three types of food

July 05, 2017 at 6:00 AM

bethany-eduction.jpgA child in Jalapa, Mexico, diligently works on her education assignment at Vida en Abundancia de Mexico.     (Photo by Bethany Muyskens)

(Editor's note: Bethany Muyskens of Sheldon, Iowa, recently completed her junior year at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where she is a biology-health professions major. She is interning at Vida en Abundancia de Mexico in Jalapa this summer and periodically will be submitting blogs about her experience.)

VAM's three types of food

By Bethany Muyskens

Food in Mexico is delicious! So far I’ve tried empanadas, street tacos, tamales, gorditas, new fruits and so much more. Food is an extremely important part of the culture, and  Vida en Abundancia de Mexico (VAM) is providing not only literal food, but also mental and spiritual food for the children that attend the ministry daily.                   

Yesterday, we fed a record number of kids, 45, at lunch time. We ran out of plates, and nearly ran out of food. It was exciting to see the comedor (cafeteria) filled with happy children. Each day, a well-balanced meal is prepared usually consisting of beans, rice, a freshly made fruit juice, and a vegetable.

The workers ensure that each child has at least one balanced meal during his or her day because at home likely they are eating fried food with minimal fruits and vegetables or not eating at all.  

VAM also helps feed “mental food” to the kids that find refuge at the ministry. Almost 40 children attend the education center daily. The center provides tutoring in every subject. I have enjoyed helping with mathematics (mostly because numbers are the same in both languages). Today, I had the privilege to teach a sixth-grader about greatest common factors. Normally, she struggles with math, but learning some new techniques made something click in her mind. It was so fun to watch her light up when she finally understood.

In Mexico, it is required for children to attend both primary and secondary school which is equivalent to elementary and middle school. Children must take an entrance exam before secondary school (seventh grade) which determines much of their future success. The center also helps children prepare for this exam. Another new program the center is helping with is called Ten to Fourteen. This program allows children who did not finish primary (elementary) school to learn the material and graduate.

In addition to physical food and mental food, the workers at VAM provide kids with spiritual food. Each day during lunch there is a devotional in which a Scripture passage is read and explained. Then a prayer is shared to bless the food. Also, on Saturdays, there is a Bible School that takes place at VAM. Approximately 30 kids attend each week for a time of singing, studying the Bible, and lunch.

It has been fun to learn about and try new foods in Mexico, but it has been more exciting to see how God is using the ministry of Vida en Abundancia to impact the lives of the children in the community. From proper nutrition to studying mathematics and the Bible, VAM provides children with many types of food so that they are equipped to flourish.

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