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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

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



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



I went to the mailbox today and pulled out two envelopes designed to end human suffering. Interestingly, as I studied both vastly different appeals, I realized that neither was providing a long-term solution to this human dilemma. The first appeal was to my “need” for a respite from my own pain. A 3-D mailer, a cruise ship literally popped out of the water as I unfolded it. It promised “delights in every detail,” the opportunity to see “wondrous parts of the world” and experience the “the exhilarating allure and bold adventure” of a world-class cruise. For ten thousand dollars I can “get away” from it all for a week, ignore my problems and the hassles of life and experience decadent pleasures beyond belief. Oh, if only it could last!

In sharp contrast, the second mailer didn’t even need you to open it to capture your emotions“On the verge of extinction. No Food.  No Water. How Long Can They Survive?” was the tagline on the front of the envelope. The back had a photo of a suffering child and the phrase, “Imagine your body is so hungry IT STARTS TO EAT ITSELF.”  Motivated by a heart of compassion, this organization claims that your gift of just $27 will be multiplied 5X and will help bring children back from the “brink of starvation.” Who wouldn’t be compelled to answer this bold, gut-wrenching appeal to save poor, helpless children from certain destruction? Oh, if only it could last!

The problem with both appeals is that neither one offers a sustainable solution to human suffering. After seven days of being pampered with the finest food, entertainment and scenery, I will return to the reality of my challenging life. On the other hand, a bag of rice can only stave off hunger for a day or a week. What happens when that is consumed? Another mailer goes out. More money is raised, and more rice is handed out.

The way an outside organization enters a community will determine the way the local people respond. If the organization brings money or goods, the locals will see them as providers of aid and will simply wait for the next hand out. If an outsider enters in order to discuss ways to help the local people become self-supporting, the locals will see them as trainers and coaches encouraging them to develop sustainable solutions. The reality is these are creative, resourceful people who have survived thousands of years in their particular environments without the charity of Western donors. What they really need is to be given the opportunity and the incentive to become change agents right where they have been uniquely planted as “the display of God’s splendor” (Isaiah 61:4).

During a crisis, immediate aid and relief are definitely needed. But to keep people in perpetual crisis by taking away their incentive to discover solutions to their own problems is nothing short of criminal. The amount of aid flowing from Western nations to developing nations is shrinking dramatically as the Global economic crisis deepens. More aid is not the answer! They must be reminded that they too bear the image of a living God; the world needs their strength and dignity as contributors not charity cases. Their own leaders must be given the incentive to lead and the tools and training to maximize their potential to advance the Kingdom of God in every segment of their society. Their soil is rich and needs their stewardship to maximize its yield. The long-term sustainable solution to their suffering can only come from an inside-out approach led by capable, visionary local leadership.

Please feel free to respond to these bi-monthly Breakthroughs in Missional Thinking, we need your voice in this ongoing dialogue about how the Christian Church engages in missions in this rapidly changing world and culture.


Mark Mielbrecht

Director of Global Leadership Development

NightShelterBusWe’ve shared with you before about Charles George of Delft, Cape Town, South Africa, and his remarkable work there with vulnerable children and orphans (for more information about him, click here.) Today we received an article from him called “The Story of a Night Shelter Bus” about a discarded double-decker bus, a community who saw an incredible need, and the ingenious way that Charles has brought partners together to bring God’s love and shelter to abused children.

Please read the story here and think about ways that you might build trust with others and partner to help solve the big problems of your community through the creative love of Jesus.

 Gary Edmonds

Mothers making and selling necklaces.

Mothers making and selling necklaces.

They raise children, tend to household chores, heal wounds, provide stability for families, educate the next generation, listen to dreams, pray for the sick, work to provide daily sustenance, laugh with the joyful, love tirelessly… I am grateful for my mother. She gave and sacrificed much for the sake of our family.

The mothers that I meet in Africa matter, too. Their lives are difficult. Yet they give and sacrifice just like our mothers do. 

From my most recent trip to Cote d’Ivoire to train people for community transformation, I met Bertine. She is a dynamic mother caring for her children and grandchildren in one of the poverty infested neighborhoods of Abidjan. Two years ago she caught a vision for transformation to come to her community.  She prayed about what she could do to make life better for all. After some searching, she learned how to start a neighborhood savings and credit association. Her conviction was that if the people pulled together to save of their meager income, they could create an investment fund.  With the pooled resources, they would be able to work to make their community better. Today, 2,000 people participate in a community credit association run by Bertine and her team of 10 others. Jobs are being created. Children are being immunized. The schools now are filled with students. Unity and trust is being fostered among the citizens. Churches are becoming self-supporting. Crime is declining. Bertine matters.

This month thank mothers for the enormous role they play to make life better. And if you are able, contribute to an organization that strengthens mothers to impact impoverished communities in ways that will never be reported in our newspapers. Mothers matter!

 Gary Edmonds

Megan and Hilliary, two blond college girls with wild dreams of changing a few lives, have in fact done just that! Last summer, the two of them went to Rwanda as interns with Breakthrough Partners. Life hasn’t been the same since they returned.


Boys with Josiane and ChantalThough they are both in school, their time has been filled with planning, praying, emailing and speaking on behalf of eleven street boys that they met in Rwanda. These boys captured their hearts. Over the past months, Megan and Hilliary have raised funds, hired staff, rented a house, drawn up long-term plans, partnered with local Rwandans, and now have officially rescued ten street boys from jail!


To quote from their latest update, “These efforts are promoting the self-sufficiency and local community involvement we are aiming for!” Indeed, this is what Breakthrough Partners is aiming for as well – building young leaders who will see the possibilities that can be accomplished when we are opened to God’s leading and His purposes! Great job, Megan and Hilliary!


For more information about this remarkable new ministry, or to help and encourage them, please check out their website,

Guest blogger, Kari Fordice

A New Blessing!

There is so much that is new. Today Tricia and I became grandparents for the 7th time. Born to Andrew and Jennifer in Panama today is Abigail Grace. The entire family rejoices in this little girl. As her little brother says, “Baby Abi is here!”

Gary Edmonds

Last month we spent time with one ministry we work with in Rwanda that reaches out to orphaned and neglected children. They are just starting to work with prostitutes’ children. Already 35 little ones come to the gatherings and are fed, bathed and taught about Jesus. They hope to start a pre-school, giving the children the basics in education. The motivation is to keep these precious children from following in their mothers’ footsteps. Several children gave testimonies at our meeting, saying such things as, “My mommy used to leave me alone at night and I was so scared. And then she always came home drunk and was so angry. But now she has prayed to Jesus and she doesn’t drink anymore and takes better care of me. So I want to pray to Jesus, too.” 

Tricia Edmonds

Tricia with Rwandan Children

Tricia with Rwandan Children




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