The December meetings are always my favorite! It is such a fun time to watch the children enjoy our Christmas outreach. Thanks to our generous sponsors, it was a very successful year to reach out and give something extra to every Embrace child. Even the children that do not have a sponsor yet or whose sponsor did not participate; all received a blanket, toy and hygiene pack (a value of over $50). 2020 has been a difficult time for all of us, due to COVID; but here in Guatemala it has been compounded by the damage done by recent hurricanes. It was so nice to be able to share some Christmas cheer and see so many smiles on the faces of the children as they left with their arms full. Again, I want to express my deep gratitude to the sponsors that helped to make this all possible!!!!
A number of you have been notified that your child is graduating out of the program. Some of you have responded that you would like us to assign you a new child and for that we are grateful. Some have notified us that they will not be continuing their sponsorship and we understand that sometimes circumstances change. If you have NOT yet responded, please consider allowing us to pick a new child for you to sponsor. We look forward to 2021 and another year to bless the children through Embrace. Due to the loss of the second planting for the people recently, due to recent hurricanes; 2021 will be a challenging year without the food that the people were counting on. Together, we are impacting the lives of these children and 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!