One of the longest-serving ministries supported by the Florida Baptist Convention recently welcomed the First Lady of Guatemala, Patricia Marroquín de Morales, to Florida to share the organization’s expertise on caring for children and families and to announce an exciting partnership to impact children in Guatemala.
In her role, The First Lady oversees a national organization in Guatemala called SOSEP that is focused on promoting and implementing social programs that benefit children, families and communities.
The First Lady engaged with One More Child foster parents, met a single mom and her daughter who are part of the organization’s Single Moms program and learned how One More Child’s expertise could meet the needs of more children in Guatemala.
“We thank One More Child so much for the love they demonstrate caring for children, in Guatemala and around the world,” The First Lady said through a translator. “It is our hope and desire that we continue working with One More Child, with the Secretary offices of our country, to continue to care for children in Guatemala.”
One More Child has been providing programs and services to benefit children and families in Guatemala for nearly a decade. One More Child’s work in Guatemala includes meeting the needs of children at the Malnutrition Center, hosting medical clinics and partnering with the First Lady’s daycare program. More than 5,000 mission team members, including many from Baptist churches, have traveled to Guatemala to serve with One More Child.
During her visit, One More Child and the First Lady announced a partnership to host a national anti-trafficking conference at the National Palace in Guatemala City on January 30-31, 2019.
The partnership will help educate and bring awareness about the heinous sex trade to leaders and community members in Guatemala’s capital city.
“We will be able to leverage the credibility, and the heart and the passion of the First Lady of Guatemala, along with our expertise to provide the training and resources that are critical to all people preventing children from being trafficked in the future,” said Dr. Jerry Haag, president/CEO of FBCH and One More Child. “Our heart is to walk hand-in-hand with the First Lady and leaders in Guatemala to rescue and restore children, and to ultimately bring an end to child sex trafficking.”
Earlier this year, One More Child hosted an anti-trafficking conference in the Dominican Republic with the support of President Danilo Medina.
In the “2018 Trafficking in Persons Report” released by the U.S. State Department, Guatemala is considered a Tier 2 Watch List country, which are defined as countries whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
“Our goal is to bring an end to the heinous reality of child sex trafficking globally, including Guatemala,” Haag said.
FBC Jacksonville and Senior Pastor Heath Lambert were gracious hosts of the event, and were presented by FBCH and One More Child staff with an award for their impact for children.
By R.J. Walters, Director of Communications, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, December 12, 2018