We had teams and extended visitors for our Embrace meetings in February. It’s good to see teams coming again. This meant extra hands to help with things like working on the food bags, weighing beans, milk and also assisting with the meetings. February is our Annual Medical Clinic for the children; every child receives a good check up from a local medical doctor. The doctors had the results of their lab work that had been done in January and were able to better access the child’s health and write prescriptions for what they felt that the child needed. All of the children got their bi-annual parasite treatment.
For our protein package this month, we started something new. The families that receive this extra benefit from their sponsors received 4 lbs. of soup bones with minimal meat on them plus 1 lb. of beef to go along with it this month. Along with the rice, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic and seasoning that they received in their food bags; they had the making for a really good soup for their families.
We completed the 28 latrines that we have been working on since about October. We have some new ones that we will begin with families that have come into the Embrace program recently. Having the use of a latrine and being taught how to use it definitely gives the families the chance to have better health for their family.
We had a registration on February 23 and signed up 9 more children into the Embrace program. So, we have some children available that we need to find sponsors for.
With one of the special extra offerings that we received; we are doing “home visits”. It has been a number of years since we have done this and felt the need to do so again. Someone goes out to visit each family, to review what they have in different areas; the type of housing, whether there is evidence that they are using their water filters, do they have an eco stove or pila, how their chickens are doing and any other animals they may have, to interact with the families and offer personal prayer. This will all be good information for our files and the confirmation that the information that we have is correct. This whole process will take a few months to complete. Most of our families live very remotely and it takes hours of walking each day that our worker does to get this done. From the other special offering that we received, the Embrace children continue to receive 10 lbs. of extra beans to add to the food that their sponsors provide; we are doing this to try to make up for all of the families losing their last harvest due to the hurricanes.
The Embrace program is doing well; but we couldn’t do it without our awesome sponsors who provide so much for the children. Together, we are impacting the lives of the children as well as their families.
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!