Meet Ashly Vega

Below is another report from one of our partners, Samaritans international in pochocuape, Nicaragua

Ashly Vega is a 10-year old girl from the community of San Isidro, El Rosario, Carazo department of Nicaragua. In this municipality, people work the land to cultivate grains. There is a lot of poverty and inequality between those who have land and those who do not. Many who do not own land must work on it for others to survive.

Ashly has been part of our feeding program since January 2019. Since this time, God performed a miracle in her life. She could not walk, and now she walks and runs throughout her house with an incredible sense of awareness, although she is blind. She has gained weight and her health is much improved.

She has learned a few words which she now repeats, indicating that from the beginning of the Samaritans International Disabled Monitoring Program, her mental development has progressed. The vitamin-fortified soy-rice has helped her in her physical and intellectual growth and also has provided the nutrients she needs, which were missing due to her family's lack of financial resources. Ashly now has a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Her mother and brothers are very happy and grateful to Jesus for the provision that God has sent them through Samaritans International and the Disabled Monitoring Program. Thank you Servants With a Heart volunteers, because without your support we would not be able to reach Ashly's home.

Ashly at home

Ashly at home

Suzanne Yoh
What is a family?

WE had our most recent SWH leadership team meeting this past Sunday and had two new participants! Below, Ashley talks about her experience in this group; please reach out if you’d like to join us.

How do you define family?

Your immediate family? Your supporters? The people who comfort you when you need it most? To me, a family is the people I love, the people who will always be there for me no matter what. A family does not only mean an immediate family like parents and brothers or sisters. A family can also be people who work together for a larger purpose or a common good like we do at Servants With a Heart.

I have grown up serving beside the Servants with a Heart team and I know no matter what, they will always come to my aid and they're just one phone call away. I have grown up with all of these people by my side and it’s been awesome. One of my many hopes is that during a packing event someone, maybe just one person, will notice this close-knit family working together. A family, whether it's an immediate family or a serving family…when it works together it's unstoppable and it can move mountains and change the world. Every single member of the Servants With A Heart family, old or young, a rookie or a veteran, is appreciated and loved more than they can imagine.

We hope you have a serving family. If not, we would welcome you to see if Servants with a Heart is right for you! Come and say hello at one of our upcoming packing events. Explore our website. Email info@servantswithaheart.orgfor more information. We hope to see you soon.

Part of our SWH Leadership Team serving together in Nicaragua this summer!

Part of our SWH Leadership Team serving together in Nicaragua this summer!

Suzanne Yoh
Del Mar to dumps

Today’s post is from SWH Leadership Team member David, who shares his feelings about his recent visit to Nicaragua to distribute our food.

I went from the dumps of Managua and absolute poverty to the bluffs of Del Mar, CA and its immense beauty and absolute wealth within a couple of weeks. There can be no greater contrast. As I am taking in the coastline there is a couple beside me drinking coffee and enjoying the beach, and I wonder if they have any idea about who created this. It strikes me that having this awesome environment with all the beauty and amenities can actually cause you not to see God. The forest from the trees thing. You’re too wrapped up in your own world and pleasures and don’t see God. I then think of the faces of the people of the dump singing praise songs and I think of the lyrics, “I can hear the rush of angels’ wings, I see glory on each face, surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” I ask myself, which is the better place? Where would I rather be? I can’t answer. Both? Doesn’t that sum up my life? Torn between two worlds, metaphorically speaking. I don’t think God is asking me to choose one or the other in physical terms but I know he is asking my heart.

Suzanne Yoh
Diana’s Story

Here we have a field report from our partners in Nicaragua, Samaritans International

Las Hamacas is located in Ciudad Sandino. It is a community far from the city and civilization, with roads that are very difficult to access. Health centers and schools are also far from the community. Once we visited Las Hamacas, we became committed to its inhabitants and their needs. Thank you to the donors who have made it possible to deliver food each month to this place!

Diana’s Story

Diana is 16 years old, and has a 3-month-old baby. She is a single mother and her baby's name is Ana Carolina García Fernández. The young Diana only reached fifth grade and because of her pregnancy, she could not continue studying. She is so grateful to Samaritans International and Servants With a Heart for the food they bring to her community and for the support they have given her with milk for her baby Ana Carolina.

Diana has started a beauty (styling) course that is taught by Samaritans school, together with the organization Beauti of Hope. This technical course is for young ladies who are looking for better opportunities in life and have an entrepreneurial spirit, and is a great blessing for Diana. She knows that these studies will be a tool to be able to get ahead and care for her daughter. She is grateful for the opportunity to be living under a roof provided by Samaritans, where she is supported with food for her and her daughter, along with the technical education being offered.

Diana thanks each person who volunteers so that her future and that of her daughter can be filled with opportunity.

Suzanne Yoh
It was a hit!

Below is a “field report” from one of our local partners that tried out our food for the first time last week…

I am excited to report that I cooked an entire bag on Wednesday morning and brought it to our center in a large crock pot. I enhanced it with some spices (salt, pepper, red pepper flakes) and herbs (chives, Thai basil, regular basil), and added a can of black beans (for additional protein). Then, I placed a few spoonfuls in a bathroom-sized cup and gave out samples (with plastic spoons/forks) to each of our 45 clients and their children who came on Wednesday. The response was very positive! I encouraged them to take a few bags home with them if they liked it (I didn’t want to put them "on the spot" if they didn’t like it), and by the end of our 2-hour session, all but two of the bags were taken. I gave the remaining two bags to a Loaves & Fishes client as she was walking to her car in the parking lot! I also encouraged our clients to “spice it up” with whatever spices they like to use and/or to add their own cut-up meat and vegetables.

A few of the Bhutanese-Nepali folks told me that they did NOT like it because it was not Jasmine rice, which is what they mostly cook with. One Montagnard gal told me it tasted more like porridge or soup than the rice she is accustomed to using in her meals, but that her kids seemed to like it, so she took some home; she also said she would try to cook it with less water than I used and see if the texture was better.

So, yes, I would say it was a “hit!”  And if you are available to deliver more to us, I think it would be great!

Suzanne Yoh
🎶Here we go again🎶

This post was written by one of our SWH Leadership Team members, Ashley, 14, who is excited to be returning to Nicaragua with our team this weekend!

Much of the food that is packed by Servants with a Heart goes to Nicaragua, but most do not know where Nicaragua even is, much less what is going on there. We ask students in schools, “Does anyone know where Nicaragua is?” and the first answer often is “Africa.” Nicaragua is actually in Central America, and it's the second poorest country in our hemisphere.

When people say “poverty” I used to think of hunger, but it is so much more. It’s only having enough food for one person in a family of five, it’s living underneath a cardboard box during the rainy season, and it’s digging through trash at the dump looking for something edible. When I went to Nicaragua I saw all of this, and it’s hard to live my normal life knowing what I saw.

Servants with a Heart is here to help, with a mission to deliver food to those who need it most. I try to share the love of God while working at packing events and distributing food in Nicaragua. People anywhere should never have to live starving for food or rummaging around a dump for something to eat. I met some people who had never taken a shower or eaten a decent meal, ever.

Servants with a Heart is driven to make this reality ancient history; we want to feed hungry children. The children in Nicaragua are the same as the children in the United States: they love playing sports and hanging out with their friends. As much as people may not want to hear it, people and kids here in the states are often (not always!) spoiled. They come home from a free public education in their cars or on a bus, maybe going home to play Fortnite or watch television. Kids these days, me included, should go home and think about how lucky we are. Go home and enjoy life, because we are so lucky! If you want to make a difference come and join Servants with a Heart at one of our upcoming packing events. Check out our website or email We hope to see you soon!

Suzanne Yoh
A blip in time

Another exciting week last week as two more 40 foot containers of meals were loaded and sent to port, bound for Samaritan’s International in Nicaragua. As I was loading, it was awe-inspiring to see and realize the amount of love and hope that went into each and every bag, box and pallet. For most of us, a couple hours on a school day or weekend is a small investment of time. But each of those 2-hour shifts, coupled with other 2 hour shifts, creates a meaningful result that provides life-saving aid to a child or family that struggles so mightily to find even a morsel of food. In our busy world of school, work, sports, vacations, etc., a two hour blip in time can mean a literal lifetime for those who benefit from your generosity. So on behalf of our meal recipients, thank you!

If you have questions or are interested in finding out more about ways to be involved, please reach out to us at

Brandon Faulkner, Program Director

Suzanne Yoh
A tale of two lines

Two sides of the story...
We have been volunteering with Servants With a Heart for over five years now as a family. Packing meals with my family and friends is a fantastic way to serve and I think it brings my family closer together. As Christians, it gives us a chance to act out our faith. We help run events as a family but also get involved using our talents to assist in running the organization. It has really been a blessing for all of us. Delivering the food in Nicaragua provides a different perspective of the process.

Last month, I joined three other men for SWH’s first visit since unrest plagued the country one year ago. We wanted to participate in the delivery of food as well as determine if Nicaragua was calm enough to start taking groups down again.

The delivery process was different in each village we visited. Some of them have feeding centers where the food is distributed regularly, even daily. Other locations receive food as needed, rather than by strict schedule. The people are very friendly and grateful for the food. More than half of the people in Nicaragua who live in rural areas live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25/day, as we teach in our education curriculum), and the economy was decimated even more by the recent civil and political unrest. Our food is needed and appreciated

Our first village visit included a worship service and there was a lot of joyful singing. As a Christian, what struck me the most was the praying. This is not like a dinner-time prayer or routine occurrence at the end of a service. This prayer is a petition to God for needs. Real needs. The prayers I experienced during this trip meant the most to me and made me feel completely inadequate.

After the worship service the children got in a line for the food. I thought about how we pack the food on what we call “lines.” Two very different lines, yet so intertwined. And both have a great deal of significance to me and my family, and to all of us at SWH.

Tyler Reynolds

Suzanne Yoh
a little history...

The Perry Brown family is a big part of what we do here at Servants With a Heart. They own Furniture Factory Outlet World in Waxhaw, NC and provide for us the SWH truck, forklifts, warehouse space, and necessary help to operate our nonprofit. Our special guest blog writer is one of Perry’s sons, Dedrick Brown, who manages the furniture store as well as our involvement with Samaritan’s International, his family’s nonprofit.


We believe our store is blessed because my Dad has always tried to bless other people with the profits we make. In 2005 a friend of my Dad took him to Nicaragua. He immediately saw the great need there, and decided to try to do something about it. He was able to start a nonprofit ministry called Samaritan's International. After several trips to Nicaragua, he bought a piece of property and built a compound outside Managua. After living there for many years, my Dad had to move home  because of medical reasons and the operation is led now by my brother, Patrick Brown. This compound houses our school, church, dining room, staff housing, and farm projects, as well as rooms for visitors to stay in. When SWH visits Nicaragua, it is where we stay.

I met Jeff and Suzanne Yoh when they attended a packing event led by another ministry. They immediately decided they wanted to start their own ministry to feed children. After meeting with them, we formed a great relationship between our ministry, our store and their ministry. Through this great partnership with Servants With a Heart, we have been able to pack millions of meals to help the people of Nicaragua and many other countries. We continue to work very hard at this, and the Lord blesses us every day. I am honored to be a part of these great ministries.

Dedrick Brown

Below are some photos of the compound in Nicaragua, as well as Dedrick and other SWH volunteers distributing food with Patrick in nicaragua last month

Suzanne Yoh many pounds?

Spring has sprung and the bees aren’t the only thing that are buzzing. Our Waxhaw distribution warehouse has been buzzing with lots of activity over the last week. We loaded over 125,000 pounds of much-needed food aid for our partner in Nicaragua, Samaritan’s International. Members of our team just returned from Nicaragua and God’s timing is perfect as the warehouse has about 30 days worth of food for our recipients—which is about the time it takes to get to the facility for distribution, assuming no hiccups!

Special heartfelt thanks from Servants With a Heart to our volunteers, US partners, and donors for your continued generosity with your time and financial support. If your school, church or company is looking for a great turnkey project that provides life-saving support for our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua and here in the US, please contact us at for more information.

Brandon Faulkner, Program Director

Suzanne Yoh