We are finally getting some rain; that is the good news for June! Our rainy season was extremely late in starting and this is really affecting the people. About 50% of our Embrace families planted after a couple of random early rains in April and lost their crop due to the fact that no further rains came. Many are unable to replant due to the cost. We will monitor the situation and may have to adjust what we give in our food bags to maximize what we can provide for them. We will keep you informed on this but please be praying for a “good harvest” for those who are able to plant. June was a busy month for our monthly meetings. We celebrated our quarterly birthdays; recognizing the children who have their birthdays in the months of April, May and June. The children received a small toy and we sang to them and prayed over them. Everyone got to enjoy some cake and refreshment. Abner gave his devotional to the people and a talk on parenting. We measured every child for their shoe size and each family choose the “type” of shoe that they want for their child; school, tennis, sandals or boots. We will place the order from the information that we received in June to have the shoes ready to distribute at our July meetings for our “Middle of the Year Blessing” outreach. We are grateful to our sponsors who responded so well to this outreach and are thrilled that we will be able to cover every Embrace child with both a pair of shoes and 3 pairs of socks as well! You sponsors are the BEST!!!!
We also finished doing the house visits to every family that has been in the program more than a year; we had done those fairly recently. It had been a few years since we had done this and we wanted to do it again. This helps us to confirm information that we have on file, see that the families are using their water filters, detect any problems in their living conditions that we should be aware of etc.
The following information was shared in May’s update but we want to make sure that our sponsors are well informed; so we will be repeating this information. As of January 2024, sponsorship will increase to $50.00 per month; that will include a small increase to the current basic sponsorship and also cover transportation fees. Again, our protein package has been affected by rising cost and whereas the families used to receive a 4 lb. chicken, they are currently only receiving a 3.25-3.50 lb. chicken depending on the price. We have also had to reduce the fish and beef options that the children receive on a rotating basis. The providing of the “protein package” will remain optional but will be increased to $10.00 per month. For most families, this is the only time of the month that they have any meat or fish for their family but we will keep this as an option that is up to the sponsors’ discretion. PLEASE NOTE: Some people are paid in advance and are already paid into the calendar year 2024. We will honor your payments made prior to June 15. If a sponsor chooses to offset that to help; that will be a personal decision and greatly appreciated. But any payments made after June 15, 2023 that take sponsorship payments into the 2024 timeframe must reflect the new pricing. We pray that you will understand our need to make these changes and to understand that Embrace is a very unique program that has very direct ties between a sponsor and their sponsor child; and that we ALL want to see these children thrive in their physical health as well as all the other areas that we impact their lives with through your faithful sponsorship. On behalf of the Embrace staff and the children and their families we say a HUGE THANK YOU for all that you do!!!!