September was a busy month for our Embrace program. The families are starting to harvest a number of their vegetables from their “Garden in a Bag” project. It is wonderful to see the families yield the fruit of their labors in caring over their gardens and provide an extra source of healthy food for their families’ needs. This is the last month that the food bags will include 15 lbs. of corn as part of their food distribution. They should be in the process of harvesting their corn that was planted and will have that to use.
Abner did a devotion on Romans 10:9; a basic salvation message to share on the importance of making a personal decision to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. There was a health talk on oral hygiene and a new tooth brush was given to each child.
September was our quarterly birthday celebration and we recognized 50 children who had their birthdays in the months of July, August and September. Every child, with a sponsor, received a small coupon to use at the clinic store; some received extra from their sponsor. Every child received a small toy and were sung to and prayed over. Everyone at the monthly meetings got to enjoy a small refreshment of cake and a drink.
We continue to do the annual family interviews with the families; updating our files and making sure we have as much information as possible to pass along to the sponsors. The new Family History Sheets will be sent to sponsors in December, along with their new annual photos. Home visits are being done for the families that have come into the Embrace program within the last year; to help us be aware of their living conditions.
The Christmas Blessing letters have been sent out and we are beginning to receive orders. Please take the time to consider what you can do to reach out in a special way to make this Christmas be a special time for your Embrace child(ren). And for those who can, go the extra mile in sending to our Extra Blessing for Christmas to make sure that EVERY child receives a food bag and something extra for Christmas.
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!