September is one of our quarterly celebrations to recognize the children who had their birthdays for the months of July, August and September.  This is a big deal for most of these children who would not get any recognition of their birthday at home.  We sing to them, pray over them, give them a small present and then share cake and a drink with everyone.  We had 48 “birthday kids” to celebrate with!  The health talk was about oral hygiene and every child received a new toothbrush.  The devotional was taken from 2 Corinthians 14:3-18.   We continue to do the annual family interviews; to review all of the data that we have on our files for every child and updating whatever is necessary to change. 

We had a huge extra blessing that we received in the past month.  We found a source for a container of rice that we were able to share with 2 other missionaries in our area; just having to pay for the shipment of the container.  We received 15,300 lbs. of rice for only 6 cents a pound!!!  The normal price for a pound of rice in Guatemala is almost $1 per pound; for buying in bulk for the Embrace program we have normally paid about half of that.  But 6 cents a pound is still about 8 times better than that!  We have normally given the families 5 pounds of rice each month; spending about $2.00.  We started giving each family 10 pounds of rice this month, spending only 60 cents for twice as much and still having the extra $1.40 to put toward other food.  We have enough to distribute in this way for 6 months and are hoping to be able to find the same resource again in the future!  This extra food is very timely as these are the “lean months” for food.  The rain began late this year and so the harvest will be later than usual too.   The past harvest has been depleted for most and not being able to purchase food at inflated prices, due to the lack of availability, makes it impossible for most to have the food that they need for their families to eat adequately!  We are so thankful for this special resource that came across our path!  The families are still receiving 15 lbs. of corn in their food bags during these “lean months” to help them with the very basics that they are accustomed to having. 

I did not have very good success on either of my US trips this year in finding new sponsors for the children that are still in need of a sponsor.  Please pray with us to be able to provide each of these children with a sponsor.  Our sponsors make a huge difference in the lives of these precious children!PLEASE NOTE:  We have been announcing for the last few months about the change in sponsorship fees, due to begin in January 2024.  We have also sent out email messages to everyone.  Some people have begun to send the “increased amount” now.  I know that a high percentage of our sponsors are set up with their banks for auto pay.  This in general, works for everyone; because sponsors don’t have to be remembering and the children never go without their benefits. Rather than asking people to make changes to go back to the actual original price and then have to incur another change in January; we have decided the following.  We will put any “extra funding” that comes in to cover payments that are for the remainder of 2023 into a coupon for your child at Christmas.  It will be just a little extra for them; but we wanted to assure you that your child will receive it!

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