Huge gift sustains life in Guatemala

By December 31, 2010

USA (MNN) — During 40 Days for the Fatherless (a campaign to promote Orphan Sunday), people were asked to pray for the more than 140 million orphaned children around the world. Orphan's Heart asked people to pray specifically for the many needs of the Children's Malnutrition Center in San Juan, Guatemala.

In an amazing answer to prayer, a group of pharmaceutical company representatives gave more than 50 cases of children's medications for the Malnutrition Center. The medications included specially formulated vitamins, and other types of medicine specifically needed to treat children at the Center.

Ron Gunter, vice president of international childcare for Orphan's Heart, said that participants at a recent pharmaceutical conference in Guatemala City were asked to donate one case (packet of 24 items) of children's medications as part of their admission to the meeting.

"One of our staff members at our headquarters in Miami connected with a childhood friend that works for a leading pharmaceutical company. This individual went above and beyond to encourage support from other companies," Gunter said.

"I need to emphasize just how important this gift is to us. Many of these medications are very expensive. One of the greatest costs we have at the Center, in addition to diapers, is the cost of medications for the children. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of all of the companies that contributed."

Gunter said that having adequate medications is a critical factor in helping children get better faster. He said that having the necessary medications can reduce the time a child spends at the center from one year to six months.

Orphan's Heart will bring more than 20 week-long mission teams to the Malnutrition Center this year.
"We work year-round to mobilize mission teams to help make repairs and improve the quality of care at the Center," Gunter said.

"We need people who can help us make repairs and improvements to the physical structure. We also need people who can play with the children, change diapers, and help feed the ones that are too weak or too young to feed themselves."

Gunter said that they also need diapers, wipes, and nonperishable food supplies. Go to the Orphan's Heart Web site at to learn how you can help the Malnutrition Center.

The Center currently serves more than 75 children, which include infants and children up to 11 years of age. However, Orphan's Heart hopes to increase the capacity of the Center to where they will eventually be able to serve more than 200 children.

"We are asking people to prayerfully consider becoming part of the amazing miracle that is taking place at the Malnutrition Center. Lives of precious little children are being saved, and through it all God's Kingdom is being glorified," Gunter said.

Although Orphan Sunday has passed (November 7), churches and other groups can establish their own 40 Days for the Fatherless campaign to help bring attention to the plight of orphans and disadvantaged children in their community and throughout the world. See for more information.

"We thank everyone who took part in Orphan Sunday this year and lifted up orphaned and disadvantaged children in prayer," said Gunter. "We are seeing the results of those faithful prayers."


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