Thank you for all of the birthday wishes and the many prayers of thanksgiving as we celebrated Elijah’s first birthday. We did not want to let the day pass without expressing our gratitude for encouraging us through your support. Having a child is a definite joy, but one that is also full of challenges based on where God has placed us overseas.
One of the gifts we gave Eli this year is a $25 donation to the Home of Life & Nutrition, or Hogar de Vida, in San Andres, Sajcabaja, north central Guatemala. Through our missionary friends Tim and Dena Stromstad who work with poor and orphaned children in Central America and through a research project (class assignment) with Asbury Theological Seminary we became aware of a need that became heavy on our hearts.
Even though Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America, “more than half of Guatemala’s population lives below the national poverty line and 13% of the population lives in extreme poverty.” When looking at indigenous people groups, the poverty percentage more than doubles. We all know that with poverty, it is the children who suffer the most. “Nearly one-half of Guatemala’s children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.” Guatemala finds itself lumped in with chronically poor, sub-Saharan African countries like Liberia and Rwanda and is only three places below Haiti’s dismal malnutrition rating, the worst in the western hemisphere. Adoptions have also become a problem due to corruption, kidnapping and fraud. One of the primary reasons for corruption in an industry charged with protecting children is the cycle of poverty. As Christians and a family who is richly blessed, we see this as unacceptable.
The Home of Life & Nutrition in San Andres that Tim and Dena started in 1992 serves a community that is five hours from Guatemala City. Most of the people they serve are Quiche-speaking Mayan Indians, one of the indigenous people groups who are the poorest segment of the population. Now the socioeconomic lesson is over. Please don’t let this moment pass…
A CALL TO ACTION: As we celebrate Elijah’s life, we want challenge twelve people to also respond with a gift of $25 to Children of Promise International (parent organization), earmarked for The Home of Life & Nutrition in Guatemala. Give electronically (click here to donate – credit or debit – use the DONATE button) or mail a check to make your one-time gift.
Children of Promise International
6844 Loop Rd.
Centerville, OH 45459-2159
If you mail a check, include “Home of Life & Nutrition, San Andres, Guatemala” on a SEPARATE piece of paper, so that your tax-deductible gift goes directly to children in Guatemala without any hassles from the IRS! Leave a comment/post below and let us know if you are able to give. We’ll save an electronic copy of this so that we can share it with Elijah when he gets older.
There is much good that can be done in the world once we realize how blessed we are. Don’t ever think that one person can’t make a difference. Elijah is living proof. Through your gifts, he can help impoverished children in Guatemala and celebrate the gift of life that God has given.
 Facts from the Central Intelligence Agency website – public domain <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gt.html#Econ>.
 Photos appear courtesy of Homes of Life. More can be seen on their website photo gallery. <http://www.homesoflife.org/photo-gallery.htm>.