High-5 class in Guatemala

High-5 class in Guatemala

High-5 was adopted this year by Food for the Hungry International (FH) as a trial in Guatemala to teach values to children through the public schools. In February FH teachers met with parents from each of the communities involved, beginning in 100 schools. Approximately 1000 children were involved in the initial trial. It was very well received and is now being used in 300 schools!

Teaching lessons of love, hope, thankfulness, respect and truth, the High-5 character values training is based on biblical principles. It helps children and their parents understand and apply these five values in their daily lives. The lessons are easy to understand, age appropriate, and culturally contextualized.

Here are some quotes from FH’s initial reports:

“Teachers had “the experience while teaching each theme to see God touch the hearts of these kids. . . The results have been better than in the past because the children have committed themselves to change. . .”

“The first value has helped restore self-esteem in our kids and encouraged them to set goals to change their behavior despite their young age.”

“The kids have learned the value of love and that God wants them to apply this love with action.”

“This is a holistic method that engages teachers (from the school) and families to also participate, not just FH staff.”

These quotes give a sense of the impact that the High-5 curriculum is having in Guatemala. It continues to be a tool to build the biblical foundation necessary for long-term social and economic change within communities. Your generous gifts and continued prayers will bring hope and change like this to more communities around the world.

Donate here.

Gary Edmonds

SoThankfulAs we come to the end of 2015, we are thankful to each of you! There have been many blessings this year, but much work needs to be done.

Because of your generosity, lives have been changed. In Rwanda Christophe was able to purchase a car to assist in spreading the High-5 program and to bring reconciliation teaching into several districts of that nation.  Teachers are empowered in how to value and support their students; parents are taught the value and blessings of children; victims and perpetrators are learning to live together as neighbors.

Because of your generosity, leaders in Africa are being encouraged and refreshed. With their spouses, they were brought together for a time to relax, recommit and recharge for their ministries. These Breakthrough associates were given the opportunity to bathe in the teaching and stimulation of other brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Because of your generosity, children in Ivory Coast and Guatemala will now have the opportunity to learn biblical values and character traits as their parents and teachers demonstrate God’s Kingdom intentions through the High-5 Character Values Program.

We stand with the apostle John and say, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) Please know that you are an integral part of our work. We would be grateful for your continued support as 2015 comes to a close. Click here to make a year-end gift that will strengthen and encourage these leaders who are offering hope and a future to the broken and needy.

In expectation of the Living Christ,
Gary Edmonds

2016Save the Date Postcard

To sponsor a table for eight at $300 click here.
To purchase individual tickets for $35 click here.

To make your Mountaintop Award nomination by November 6th click here.

Allen A. Belton | Chairman, MLK Jr. Prayer Breakfast Committee
Presented by Breakthrough Partners and Community Leaders Roundtable of Seattle

Car for CARSA

Car for CARSA

When I was 18 my parents gave me a car to get back and forth to the university. It wasn’t brand new, but it was a Mustang, and it was reliable. I drove it for four years and was never late for a class, at least not because of the car. I wasn’t nearly grateful enough to my parents for the gift.

Our High-5 partners in Rwanda are in need of a car.They are doing great work and have just expanded into another district. Children are hearing the Word of God; teachers and parents as well as the kids are experiencing the life-changing healing and restoration that comes from instilling love, hope, thankfulness, respect and honesty into their lives. But they need a car.

As the program expands, it is more costly and time-consuming to travel without a car. It is expensive to rent one, and old ones are very unreliable. We are trusting God to supply this need and hope that you will do what you can to help. We have raised half of the needed funds for a used car in good condition. Would you consider a gift to help Christophe and his team? It would be heartbreaking for a child to be eternally lost for lack of a car.

Please click here to make a donation.

Thank you!

Kari Fordice

High5LogoWordsGod works in a mighty way as the High-5 Program is introduced to Francophone Africa at a gathering in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Breakthrough Partners Director of Children’s Ministry Training, Andrew Edmonds, and Breakthrough Partners Ivory Coast Director Koffi Tehua introduced the High-5 Character Values Curriculum to representatives from 12 churches from 5 denominations who, in turn, will take the training materials out to over 500 Sunday schools. Here are a couple of quotes from participants:

??????????????????????????????? “Next week I’m leading a training for 50 Sunday school teachers in the interior of Ivory Coast. I’m definitely going to share this material with them.”

“I’ve had an incredible burden for the kids in my church and community . . . Now I have a solution.”

For a full report from Andrew Edmonds and Koffi Tehua, click here.

Thank you for your prayers and financial support that make partnerships like this possible.

Gary Edmonds
President, Breakthrough Partners


High5LogoWordsBreakthrough Partners is pleased to be highlighted as the “Non-profit of the Month” by The Green Bean  Coffeehouse and Bakery in the Greenwood area of Seattle. Our High-5 Character Values Program is the focus of our display. It would be great to have you stop by. Located at 8525 Greenwood Ave N., the Green Bean is open from 6am to 7pm. You will have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing cup of coffee, buy a t-shirt or make a donation while there.

In addition, we will sponsor an acoustic night of praise and worship at the Green Bean on Saturday evening April 25th from 7pm to 9pm.  The Exchange (www.theexchangerock.com) will be singing and sharing that night as well as promoting High-5. We would love to see you that evening! Feel free to stay for a few minutes or the whole evening.


You can also find the Green Bean Coffeehouse and Bakery and Breakthrough Partners on Facebook.

Thanks, Green Bean, for your partnership!



Under the leadership of Breakthrough Partners’ High-5 Africa Director and CARSA CEO Christophe Mbonyingabo, the High-5 curriculum is now being taught in over 50 churches from five different denominations in Rwanda. Christophe said 2015ChildBalloonsSmall recently, “In all the churches we visited, the first impact that occurred from the time they started using our curriculum [is] an incredible increase of children in Sunday School. Generally the number has doubled after one year. In one church, the number has tripled since they started using High-5 curriculum!”

Learn more and watch a short video here.

Please support the growth of this life-changing teaching with your prayers and financial support.2015TeacherWithChildrenSmall

Gary Edmonds, President
Breakthrough Partners




Fish Farming Initiative, trained by Justin

How does sustainable development happen? The answer in a short pithy phrase is “Inside-Out Change.” The people of a community, whether in Africa, Asia, or the USA, must own their change process.  They must take responsibility. They must realize that transformative change begins and flows from inside them.

My good friend, Justin Bisengimana, envisions and trains people in 22 impoverished communities of Rwanda to be the agents of their own change. He recently remarked, “Their mindset must change. They must realize that they are valuable and possess gifts and talents for their own development. They must be given time and the challenge to struggle. They must become tough-minded and learn to fight against poverty. If they are to make it out of extreme poverty and violence, they must start the process inside themselves.  And they must prepare themselves to work hard without any promise of outside help. My job is to bring them this knowledge and wisdom. In fact if I bring them any outside money or materials without this mindset first planted deeply, the people will only end up dependent or worse off than before.”

The result of Justin’s work shows that when people own their own development and are willing to persevere against the odds, they are able to triple even quintuple their income and the well-being of their children in three years or less. Pretty phenomenal growth! So much growth that Justin has more communities asking for his assistance than he can service in a year!

So many strategies for poverty alleviation focus on government-led redistribution of resources or policy change. Few emphasize the need for character or culture change. It should be no surprise that we see little sustainable change around the world. What do you think is the best strategy?

Gary Edmonds

Zimbabwe Workshop GroupInvited by MAMUDA, a community development association near Bindura in north central Zimbabwe, a team from Breakthrough Partners recently worked with over 80 men, women and young people for four days to coach and transfer skills necessary to lead their own community transformation. They came from 13 wards, some as far as 30km away. One man rode a bicycle 20 km to be there. The beauty of the country and hospitality of the people was only exceeded by the eager enthusiasm of the workshop participants.

A distinctive of Breakthrough Partners (BtP) is the belief that God has embedded in communities the leadership, solutions, and resources needed to solve the many challenges they face. In the course of the workshop it was exciting to see these people begin to discover what God has already planted in them, working together to identify solutions and local resources for their immediate and long term improvements. Our MAMUDA hosts took some risk inviting a US group to assist in their local development, but their boldness may pay off as a model for other districts.

The participants went back to their wards and engaged their neighbors and community, sharing what they learned in the workshop and generating more improvement initiatives. In a note of thanks to BtP, a MAMUDA leader wrote, “. . . the community of Bindura should never be the same again after this workshop. The enthusiasm exuding among most participants will begin to yield results soon.”

BtP leaders also met with the senior minister and incumbent vice president of the national government. Our visit even made the local news. Please pray for the people of Zimbabwe, MAMUDA and Breakthrough Partners. BtP will follow up and provide ongoing coaching to the leaders through Skype calls, email and periodic visits.  Pray for wisdom and grace to learn and lead well. 

Ed Hatch
Breakthrough Partners

Weary donors around the world are searching for what will bring sustainable transformation to the poor. We must always ask, “What works that will last beyond the aid?” From more than 40 years of international work in some of the most distressed nations of the globe, my answer is simple – Local Leader Centered Development.

When local leaders are valued, honored, listened to, and empowered to execute transformational initiatives based on their dreams and visions, on the resources at hand and on the rhythm of their own culture, the change lasts.  The community is changed from the inside-out.  Ownership of the new reality is felt by the local population.  Creativity is fostered.  Diversity in unity is cultivated.  The leaders and people experience the dignity of being masters of their own destiny and stewards of their own resources.

I recently returned from 10 days in rural Zimbabwe, invited to facilitate a change process in this community of many distressed people.  Working with 85 local leaders, we helped them surface their own visions and dreams and grasp the assets that they already possess.  Relational trust grew as together they wrote plans to transform and develop their district.  They created a local development association with this mission statement:  “MAMUDA (Masembura and Musana Development Association) exists to promote sustainable development and empowerment by the local people for the future generations.  We encourage total control and ownership of the resources by the local community.”  Read more about our meeting in the Bulawayo News here.

Check back with me in a couple of years.  My experience tells me that outside-in project-centered development does not last, but inside-out Local Leader CenteredDevelopment does.  What are you practicing or investing in?  Does it last?

Gary Edmonds

« Older entries