December was a wonderful month for the Embrace children. Our amazing sponsors outdid themselves this year! The sponsors that did give toward the Christmas Blessing and Extra Blessing gave enough to make it be a very special Christmas for all. Every family got a full food bag, with some special extras for the holiday season. Children who were not receiving from their own sponsor still received a whole bag of nice hygiene products plus a very nice toy. The girls got a doll and the boys got a soccer ball, pump, soccer shirt; all put in a school backpack. All of the workers adorned Santa hats or reindeer ears and the families got a kick out of that. There was a devotional that dealt with the birth of Jesus. We announced another registration date that we have for January, to sign up new children.
We have heard back from over half of the sponsors that have a child that is graduating out of the program and happy to say that the majority are asking for us to assign them a new child, to continue their Embrace sponsorship of impacting the life of a child in need. If you have not responded to your messages, please take a moment to drop Doug and Sandi a message and let us know your decision.
Christmas photos were sent out that we hope you enjoyed; as well as the new Family History Sheet with updated information concerning your family for 2020. All of that was sent out even to sponsors whose child is leaving the program. Those sponsors will also be receiving information for their new child in the near future.
We got all of the latrines, eco stoves and laundry tubs installed with the families that received those items before Christmas and the families are enjoying the chance to use them.
I want to give a heartfelt thank you for your response to the Christmas Blessing this year. Most of these children would never have received any kind of gift for Christmas, if it hadn’t been for your generosity. Believe me when I say, that if you could have seen their smiles; you would know just how worthwhile it was to send this expression of love to the children in Embrace. May 2020 be the best year yet for Embrace; we continue to look for new sponsors and more children to impact in the eastern region of Guatemala! Thanks for being a part of that!
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!