Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ABC - Looking for Sponsors

For those who have thought about sponsoring an ABC child with Health Talents International, now is a great time to make the pledge.  This year we added around 70 children to the program from various communities but within the 70 we also added 2 new communities of Mactzul III and Mactzul II.  For those who have come to clinics with us in the past some may have visited the village of Mactzul II. 

We have approximately 25+ children that could use a sponsor in the ABC program.  For those new to the program, the ABC program is a child sponsorship program managed by Health Talents International in partnership with the local churches.  The most important aspect of the program is the partnership that is created with the local church.  Through the local church they identify families in need and recommend children to the program to receive some supplemental assistance.  The goal of the program is to provide the child a better opportunity  to become a leader in their church and in their community.  We do this by setting responsibilities in activities such as Bible classes, attendance in school, attendance in educational meetings and providing some small supplemental support in the means of nutritional protein products such as milk and beans, a set of clothes for school, basic school supplies and primary medical and dental care.

We try to balance the creation of dependence by only providing for a maximum number of children per family and by only providing a percentage of the needs of protein, etc.  Each family is encouraged to keep all the children in Bible classes and in school by using the supplemetal support they receive to use their own funds to support the needs of the other children.  Of course we would never say this a perfect system, but we have seen and continue to experience many postive outcomes through this program.

Most parents that are between the ages of 35 and 50 only have a 1st or 2nd grade education and through this program, children are receiving more oppurtunity to finish 6th grade and many will continue to middle school and some will continue to high school.  Imagine the possibilities this provides the families, churches and communities.  Young people will be better prepared to teach others Bible, community development, literacy, etc.  Of the communities that have been in the program longer we have see students creating Bible classes for the children, women's Bible classes have started, and recently graduates from high school are starting tutoring classes for children who need help since the parents do not understand everything their children are learning.

This year in the highlands of Guatemala where we work, we expect to have 46 children out of 386 children finish 6th grade, we have 29 children in middle school of which 9 will graduate from middle school this year and we have 11 in high school.  The retention rate through 6th grade is very high (compared to a 50% drop out rate average in a community) while the other levels of school tend to drop because of extra expenses of travel, uniforms, and books.  For example to go to high school the student is traveling 1-1.5 hours in most cases and spends around $5 a day or more.  Does not sound like much until you realize that a days wage is not much more than that.  The program has over 650 children in total with many churches that have been in the program 10+ years, so some of the children are now teachers, financial assistants, evangelists, and some are in medical school, nursing school and dental school or are pursuing other professions in college.  The beauty is since this is a family oriented society most will stay in the areas they grew up in.  In one community once this year finishes they will have more than 6 or 7 high school graduates and many more who have finished 6th grade and middle school.

Please consider making a pledge of $30 per month to support a child through the ABC program and join us in our prayer that this will provide a future change in the church and the communities in the areas we serve and beyond.  If you are not able to make a pledge, then please join us in our prayer for this program and it's success to bring honor to our Lord.  And... it does not have to stop there, if you want to meet the family it is always a posibility by joining one of the medical evangelism teams that come to Guatemala in support of the ministry.

If you are interested please email the Health Talents International ABC coordinator Barbara Barnes at  You can also find more information about Health Talents International at our website which is  or you may contact us with any questions that you may have.  Our email address is

Here are some pictures of kids that need sponsors.




Tomas (started high school this year)



This is David's family and his sister Juana (with her hand raised) is also needing a sponsor.  Dad works in agriculture as a day laborer and mom weaves and both are active in the local church of Mactzul II.

Thanks for visiting our blog!

1 comment:

Dr. Scott said...

Lisa & Kemmel, This is a great message about the ABC program and you detail important insights about all the benefits - practical, community, family, and spiritual. Keep banging this drum! I'm contacting HTI today to sponsor 3 children because of Sheri's previous description and your very relevant plea. Scott. Winston-Salem, NC