We finished off our annual Family Interviews in October; updating the personal data that we have on each child and information that we pass along to the sponsors at the end of the year. I asked each family how their trees were doing that were handed out through a special project in May. Each family received mango, lemon, mango, anona, plantain and bamboo plants. I am very pleased with the feedback; very few families lost a tree and most say that their trees are doing very well. The lemon and plantain are beginning to grow fruit. This kind of a project is very well received and will give the families an on-going increased source of food for their family!
In November we will begin to have “normal meetings”; with the children attending with their parents. While social distancing requirements are still in force, we will do open-air meetings and put every 2 chairs (for a child/parent) with adequate space between them.
A lot of our Embrace children had their annual appointment with the dentist this month and the rest that are pending will have their appointments in November. We are trying to make sure that the children don’t miss out on any of their benefits, even in the midst of a year that has given us many challenges.
I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to our sponsors who sent in for the Christmas Blessing! You are amazing and it looks like we will have an awesome time of celebrating Christmas with the children in December. The deadline was October 15 for sending in orders; but money for a coupon (up to $125 per child) can still be sent in up to November 20th. Any funds received in the Michigan office after that date will go toward general expenses of the program. Santa’s helpers will be very busy in the next month😊!
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!