August was definitely an extra busy month for Embrace. Our children had not attended since March for some and February for others. We were running behind on a number of different things so we changed things out a bit😊! The parents attended the regular Saturday meetings and received their food and other extra benefits that some sponsors send. They were instructed to come back either the following Tuesday or Thursday, WITH their child at designated times. We spaced the children out so that they didn’t all arrive at the same time. It was so nice to see the children after 5-6 months of them not attending!
We were able to weigh and evaluate the children’s nutritional levels. The children were able to receive their new shoes, as a part of our Mid-Year Extra Blessing! This outreach was a huge success due to the generosity of our sponsors; many who sent extra and covered more than just the children that they personally sponsor. This allowed EVERY child to receive a pair of new shoes, a pair of socks and a little bit of assistance to help toward the transportation cost of making a second trip to town this month.
We were also able to cover all of the birthdays from January through September and give these birthday children a toy and coupon to use at the clinic store. It gave parents the chance for the first time in months to have their child receive a medical consultation at the clinic for those that had the need. We also had our dentist working to help us catch up on all of the months that we have not been able to provide these services to the children. We put out a table from the last team donations for the families to pick from. It at least feels like we are back on level ground for the moment.
We continue to work on our 25 latrines for the selected families/villages that we are covering. We finished the latrines in Matazano, Pacren, Lantiquin, Camotan and Jocotan. We still have some latrines that we are working on in Lela Chanco, El Volcan and Rodeito. We are so pleased that we have been able to provide 45 families with this improvement to their general health this year! At this point, we still have 29 families registered in Embrace that do not have latrines. We may pick up some for Christmas giving from the sponsors or find special funding to continue to provide these benefits for all of our Embrace families.
We still aren’t sure what restrictions will be for the up-coming months and how we will conduct our monthly meetings but it sure was nice to see our “Embrace kids” this month and to see how they were doing!
Just a heads up; the Christmas letter with all of the different options to provide for your Embrace child will be sent out very soon!
Please note: We are receiving reports that the US postal delivery is really slower than usual; sometimes taking 8-10 days to deliver a letter within the same city! Please make sure that your sponsorship payments are up to date; even one month behind puts the child at risk for not receiving their benefits from their sponsor by the time that we actually have it in hand to use.
We want to give you a better look at just what the Embrace program can do to change the life of a child. We found Sergio in December 2018; he was brought to our registration to find new children to sign up for the Embrace program. Sergio has 6 other siblings in his family; he is also a special need child. Sergio’s biggest issue was that he was emaciated; he was six years old and he weighed 15.6 lbs! That is the weight of a child less than a year old, even here in Guatemala! He was truly nothing more than skin and bones. The mom allowed us to take some pictures, away from the view of others, without his shirt; to see his true condition. As much as the Embrace program provides; we knew that this was a special case where MORE was required! Thanks to a sponsor who took Sergio on and was willing to send extra; we were able to put Sergio on Pediasure milk and also on a product, called Plumpy Nut; that we make from peanut butter, oil, powdered sugar and powdered milk. Sergio had never walked in his 6 years; strictly due to the fact that he had no strength or muscle development to allow him to do so. After only 19 days of being on the “extra assistance” that we gave him; Sergio took his first “assisted steps”, with his mother holding his hands. In just six months, Sergio has more than doubled his body weight! On the nutritional chart that we use to evaluate the children; he went from extreme dark red (which is critical malnourishment) to coming into green (which is a healthy level of nutrition for a child in proportion to their height and weight)! Sergio is building his confidence to begin to walk on his own and strengthen the muscles that are finally developing for him; due to the proper nutrition and assistance that he has received! It has been a pure joy to see the transformation of this child and to realize the difference that can be made; as we give that child their needed nutrition. It is a testimony to the Embrace program and to 100s of sponsors that we have that make that change available to the children that they are helping. We praise God for the change that we have seen in Sergio and hope that it has impacted you as well. Help us to find more sponsors to begin to make that difference in the life of other children! The children are “out there”; we just need people who want to reach out to them and see that transformation happen!