Embrace meetings in July were very full with lots of activities. We weighed every child and evaluated their level of nutrition. This is done every four months. This month’s food bag included 20 lbs. of corn. This is something we do this time of year; as we know that the time between planting new crops and waiting for the harvest is the hardest time for the people. Thankfully we have had enough rain, up to now, this year and the people were able to plant earlier than usual. We will include the corn supplement for the months of July and August and by September they should have their new harvested corn. We talked to the people about their “Gardens in a Bag” that they received two months ago. They are now eating the fruits of their labors and enjoying cilantro, radishes, onions and their cucumbers are beginning to produce. Someone brought me some cilantro and I enjoyed a salsa and chips for lunch that day😊! We did a survey of every family to see if all of their seeds were producing so that we can evaluate the project and make any needed changes for next year. Many people brought photos and even some videos of their gardens; that were fun to see and we will share some of those with you.
Abner gave an annual talk about the water filters; reminding the people how to use and care for them. Every Embrace family has a water filter and this is huge. Most of the parasite issues are due to not having good drinking water. Special fund raising is done to provide these filters to the Embrace families. Some people received their annual change out of the piece inside the filter that actually does the filtering. We hand these pieces out in July and December; depending when the people have been receiving them. Abner also did a devotional with the people.
The fun part of the day was doing the Middle of the Year Blessing that we offered to the sponsors; to do something extra for their sponsored children. Many sponsors responded and many gave “extra” so that every child would be able to receive a pair of good sturdy shoes. I think that the quality that we offered this year was much better than last year and the parents were very happy with what they received for their children. The shoe distribution was as follows:
It was so much fun to see the children try on their shoes and walk around in them. Providing every child with a pair of shoes was a tremendous blessing to them and was only made possible by your generosity and compassion! You noticed the big smiles on the faces of everyone as they left the monthly meetings.
We had a registration for signing up new children and added 8 to the Embrace program; bringing us up to 220 children. I will have about 20 children now that are in need of a sponsor. I leave in early August to do my northern fundraising trip and one of the things that I do is to look for new sponsors. Please pray with me for hearts to be touched and people to come forward to begin child sponsorship through the Embrace program. It makes such a difference in the lives of these children and we appreciate all that you do.
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!