There are some things in life that are just hard to do. My prayer over the past 10 years is that my heart would never become hardened by the poverty, overwhelming needs, injustice, and the unnecessary suffering that I see daily watching people have to endure heartbreak because of things that could be prevented, like hunger, malnutrition, AIDS, etc. This morning in the midst of paperwork, construction projects, sponsorship program deadlines, and the other daily issues, I had to tell a sweet 20 something year old mother that her precious 1.5 year old boy died. It is one of those things where I plead with God to not let her feel the weight of her loss. Just a couple of months ago, this mother was homeless, sleeping on the streets, nurturing her little boy to the best of her ability. Then one day she came to our property after hearing about what we do. He was enrolled in our baby rescue program here at Danita's Children. One of our missionaries, Hope, loved him like her own. A family member of one of our employees gave her a place to stay until we found a home to rent for her. The mother faithfully came everyday...every single day...so her little boy could receive nutrition that he sometimes unwillingly took because he didn't have the energy to even open his mouth.
Within the first few weeks of being in our Baby Rescue Program
One of our missionaries, Hope, who treated him like her own
She walked miles with her baby boy everyday
Because his malnutrition was in the end stages, he needed more than nutrition; he needed 24/7 care. He was losing weight, not gaining weight, and was getting weaker by the moment. One of my best friends, Brittany, who lives in Port-au-Prince, happened to be visiting us that week. She has a special place in her heart for children that are suffering from malnutrition. There is something about having friends that fight injustice, alleviate suffering, and will do ANYTHING to save the life of a child, that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. So Brittany took the mom and her baby boy back to Port-au-Prince with her to admit him to a baby rescue center, The Real Hope for Haiti. They specialize in malnutrition cases and try their best to save lives daily.
Right before they left, I asked the mom what she was bringing and she showed me her bag, which was about half the size of a backpack. I thought that she just brought a few things from her house, but after talking to her, I realized that she brought everything she had...what was in that small bag was ALL she had to her name. One extra change of clothes and that was it. I quickly hurried upstairs, grabbed a few of my dresses and shirts that I have way too much of and got some soap, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. She was more than grateful.
When they arrived at the rescue center, the mom knew the risks and let the center take him in hopes that he would get better and be returned to her. It turned out that he had TB, anemia, and an enlarged heart. On June 7th, he passed away. I sit here writing this with tears streaming down my face. Not because of what I had to do today. Please, I beg you, don't feel sorry for me. I'm so heartbroken that another mother has to lose her child due to malnutrition. Being in the presence of this mother is humbling. Beyond humbling. Humbling because she is a picture of where the heart of Jesus is....with the suffering and brokenhearted. I feel an urgency in my life to do more, fight on behalf of more, rescue more, love more, and give up more. I'm determined to keep turning my tears into action. Parents shouldn't have to lose kids to preventable illnesses. There should be access to medical care for those who cannot afford it. There should be less orphans in the world everyday. My prayer is that you feel the urgency, too. Suffering is NOT just limited to 3rd world countries. It's in your home. It's in your backyard. It's next door. It's in your workplace. It's in your school. It's everywhere. Choose to open your eyes and allow yourself to see it. You can be the answer to a mother's prayer or the answer to an orphan's cry.....