Jesusa Suyo and her family live atop a hill in Manchay, a breathtaking view of the district on all sides of their home. But her favourite spot is the garden. As if it were a chess board, she moves comfortably through the garden like a Queen, commanding all directions. 

First Movement

Jesusa first took possession of her beloved garden as part of a class in January 2019. Her eyes shine when she recalls the success of her first beet harvest. As comfortable in the kitchen as she is in the garden, she used the beet leaves to make tortillas. 

Perhaps they were a boon to her youngest son, David Francis Suyo (12), to qualify for the national chess tournament of Peru. According to experts, beets are high in potassium, which means it regulates the heartbeat and nervous system: very effective for high-pressure situations.

As Jesusa tells it, those times were crucial for her and her son. David may not have won a prize, but the family gained experience, perseverance, and courage

Strategic Plays:

As time went on, spinach, cilantro, basil, and radishes began to grow in Jesusa’s garden plot. Each harvest was larger than the last. She documented her success on social media, and watched local interest grow. In one day, she sold around twenty Sols worth. Another day, she managed forty Sols in sales: as much as two day's wages.

Check Mate:

 In recent months, Manchay has suffered from water shortages. On average, the public water supply is cut off for 14 hours a day. But Jesusa has not prevented her organic garden project from continuing. With determination, she gets up in the morning to collect water and water her plot. While her children are still sleeping, she works in her garden.

When she’s asked if she ever missed a class, she responds emphatically. “Oh! I never missed; I was number 1,” she says, laughing. “Only once I missed, so I sent my husband!

Just as plants need special care, Jesusa knows that her spiritual life needs equal attention to overcome the challenges that meet her. She knows the Lord, and worships regularly in church. 

Many times, she has needed to confront financial problems in her family. These have tested her faith. But when she cares for her plants, she remembers how Jesus cares for her. In the classes given by Pastora Rocío she learned about the importance of healthy soil and how it’s essential for vegetables to grow. She compares this to her life. As she puts it, she needed a solid foundation that would let her flourish.

The word of God became that foundation. She prepared her heart and decided to renew her faith in Jesus. Since that time, whenever she plants or harvests, she remembers what the Lord has done.   

Donate: Manchay is having a hard time during this pandemic. If you can, please consider donating. A donation of only $15 can keep a family fed for an entire week. 100% of donations will go directly to helping Peruvian families in need. We appreciate your generosity!