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One morning Jesse Correll and Andy Rotunno stood in the Gleanings warehouse discussing new products arrivals and upcoming shipments to Gleanings Christian ministry partners. A voice message came in from Kendra Doutt of Feed the Hungry, Nicaragua:

I have to tell you this story. Many years ago, I found a little boy in the dump underneath a box. He had fallen from a truck and lay dying there in the dump. The boy’s name was Tony; he was only three years old. We picked him up and took him to the hospital where his health stabilized. We went back to the dump to look for his mother, but all we found was his older sister Stephanie who was there taking care of six other siblings. We learned that Tony’s mother worked as a prostitute and the children were left to live in the dump. We pursued guardianship of Tony, but the state said we were not able to adopt him because he had a mother, and she wouldn’t allow it. Every time we’d return to the dump for food distributions, we’d play with Tony. One day Tony was gone. His grandmother had sold him to a pig farm. The owner agreed to pay Tony’s grandparents eight dollars per month for his work–he was only 8 years old at this time. He was taken to live at the farm where he slept with the pigs and never received any payment for himself other than a plate of food each day. Back at the dump, we’d ask about him, but no one knew where he was, and his family would not tell us anything.

Then, in May 2023, I saw a young man at the dump collecting trash. I called his name, “Tony?” It was him! He escaped and had come back to his old home in the garbage dump. He told me his whole story. I quickly asked him, “Where’s your mother?” He said, “I haven’t seen her in years. She’s gone to the international border as a prostitute.” I asked where his grandparents were. He showed us where they lived there in the dump.

I immediately asked Tony’s grandfather, “Would you give me your permission for Tony to come live with us at the mission and join our Rise Up program where he can work with other youth, be trained and discipled in his walk with Jesus?” He said yes! Tony has been with us since June 2023!

Last week Tony went with me to the dump. Together we distributed food packs to 50 families. In those bags of food were Gleanings oats and soup mix. So proudly and dignified, he cleaned up, dressed up, and he pulled back his long hair, and we went out to the garbage dump, where he helped them pick trash. And when we got done, he passed out those bags of Gleanings food with such compassion. In the picture I sent, you can see that he has plastic bottles in his hands because he was helping the people of the dump pick trash. Tony is now going into the dump communities with us to do ministry.

Pray for Tony and his new life learning to walk with Jesus and to serve his own people with compassion. By God’s grace, Tony has truly risen up like a beloved son, out from the filth of pigs, out of the mounds of trash, to a place where he is now experiencing the love of Christ every day. Pray for Kendra Doutt and her missionary team who serve Gleanings food and the Bread of Life, Jesus, to thousands of children each week in Nicaragua.