November has been a full and challenging month! We were able to get through the first two groups without any hitches. The children were to attend this month with their parents. We weighed them, evaluated their nutritional levels and took their annual photos. Our project manager gave a talk to the families about using vitamins that we provided for their chickens and also some fertilizer that we included this month for their trees that they received in May. Both “extras” will benefit the special projects that the families received this year. We had the people outside but seated so that we could have a more formal meeting; including these special “talks” and also a devotional. We celebrated birthdays for the children who have their birthdays in October, November and December and it was the first time since March to be able to have cake and refreshment for everyone!
With being affected by both Eta and Iota hurricanes; we had to cancel our groups #3 and #4. We will have them come on the day that we normally do group #5. We suspect with all of the bridges that are out and communities that have been cut off; that we will have some families that cannot get to the meetings. Some of these bridges will take months to rebuild so we hope they restore temporary measures to allow the people to get down into town.
We are VERY pleased with how sponsors have responded to our Christmas Blessing giving; to provide the Embrace children a Christmas to truly celebrate…. especially in light of this year’s pandemic and all of the fallout of the hurricanes that have affected so many. Again, we are not sure if all of our families will be able to attend the December meetings but we will do all that we can to get things to the families. We have stoves, pilas and some latrines to try to get delivered/installed before Christmas.
For those of you who receive notification that your Embrace child is graduating out of the program this year; we hope that you will consider allowing us to select another child for you and to begin that whole process of recuperation again. When a child leaves the program, it is a good testimony of how Embrace has been able to change and improve their life and that is due to our awesome sponsors! We want to continue to reach out and make that difference for more children; embracing them, one child at a time! Please confirm back to us that you want to receive another child, if you are losing your child this year. The Embrace program reaches out in so many ways to make a personal difference in the children and we are grateful to your sponsorship that allows that to continue!
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!