Emeliana has captured our hearts. She is pictured above with her pigs.
In 2013 a member of a local partner church in Guatemala took members of a US team to visit Emeliana and her daughter Cindy. That initial visit broke the hearts of some on our team from the US.
Emeliana and Cindy were living in an animal pen; sleeping on a pile of corn husks. Their floor was dirt and three of the four walls were black plastic sheeting. Emeliana was not feeling well, and was wearing all of the clothing that she owned.
Our local leaders had gotten to know her, and learned about her background. They knew that her need was sincere, and that she wanted outside help. They knew that Emeliana desired to build a better life for herself and her daughter. She just needed a “Hand-Up”.
Through US sponsorship, Emeliana received a small house and a small female pig.
Emeliana cared for the pig. It had a litter of piglets. Emeliana sold several right away and raised the others for food and income.
They now have a small farm, with several simple buildings, a corn field, pigs, and chickens. There is food on the table, and a source of income. Cindy is excelling in school, and Emeliana is getting to be quite good at business. Life is not easy, but it has gotten better.
Animals provided through this program are both a source of much-needed protein in the diet and a means of generating income.
The vast majority of families served by the program are single-parent households with a mother, several children and no consistent source of income.
The common diet is mostly corn tortillas. What a blessing it is to add eggs or meat! And what a blessing when the animals multiply and can be sold at the local marketplace.
In time, many of our recipients, like Emeliana, have multiplied the original gift, to build a small business that pays regular returns.
Families are suggested to our national leaders by local church pastors. Spreading the Gospel is our mission, and the animal program plays a key part in that.
Church membership is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance; however, trust, accountability, and relationship are central to the work we do.
Our staff gets to know the family, and verifies their need. Over time, they may receive other assistance like vaccinations for the animals, a small house, a stove, or scholarships for their children.
Meeting these physical needs provides an opportunity to share the Gospel and build relationships that center around Jesus Christ.
$60 provides an animal to be chosen by the family. This is often a young pig, a sheep, or two small piglets. Money that is not spent on the animal may be used for an initial supply of feed.
General donations to the program will be used at the discretion of our administrators to provide animals, feed, vaccinations for animals, pens for shelter, or classes teaching care for animals or the business of running a small farm.