Saturday, September 14, 2013
Three of our babies specifically need your prayers.
Today’s blog is dedicated to three of our special babies who need prayer. Of course they are all special and they all need prayer, but these three have challenges that I want to share with you.
Some of you may not know who Solomon is. He is counted in our “40”, but we hope that one day he will be returned to his mother (she is moving to the Sicalo Lesisha Kibbutz at Project Canaan with her 5-year old at the beginning of October). If you go back and read my blog at http://janinemaxwell.blogspot.com/2013/03/why-would-husband-and-wife-arrive-at.html you will learn about how we first met Solomon. After giving his father a job and taking his mother and Solomon to the hospital to start on HIV medication (and treatment for severe malnutrition) we thought we had helped in a way that the family could move forward together and not have to abandon their children.
Well, the father didn't like working for a living and quit working at Project Canaan after a couple weeks. The mother and child started HIV treatment, but she just couldn’t seem to get Solomon stabilized (the child was HIV positive from birth, but the mother hid it from the father so the child needlessly went without treatment for 13 months). Eventually the father ran off with another woman and impregnated her, leaving the mother with a very sick baby (so she could not work because she had to care for him). I received a call from the hospital Social Worker one day and she asked me to come and meet a mother and baby in extreme need. When I arrived I saw Solomon and his mom and knew their story. After several hours of talking, praying and trying to find another possible solution, the hospital and mother begged me to take the child, and I did.
Solomon is now 15-months old. He has Stage 4 HIV (AIDS) and his CD4 count is less than 200. He has extreme muscle wasting (i.e. he can’t put any weight on his legs and doesn’t sit on his own) severe weight loss and frequent infections that make him really sick which causes him to lose more weight. He is suffering from malnutrition and only weighs 8.1 kg (17 lbs), which is 3% less than his age group. His Gross Motor Skilss are at a 2-4 month old level and his verbal skills are at a 6-9 month old level. Solomon is a very sick little boy and we are struggling to keep him alive and well.Our prayer is that he will stabilize, start to grow as healthy food and Anti-Retroviral medication start to work in his body and that his body will heal as he is given tender loving care and lots of prayer. Our hope is that once he is healthy and stable and once his mother is also stable and working well, that we can reunite this child with his mother and brother and they can live happily together. This may take a year or more, but we are committed them. Please pray with us for this entire family.
Little Beth came to us after her mother handed the baby to a neighbor and said she was going to the toilet, but never returned to get her child. The neighbor took Beth to the hospital and left her there, as this single young man was unable to care for a stranger’s newborn child. Beth is a sweet, beautiful, happy child and a joy to have at El Roi. She is now 5-months old and recently we became suspicious that there might be something wrong with Beth as her head always leaned to the left and her left eye was starting to droop slightly. This past week she went to see the doctor and was diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy. The doctor assumes that she had a head injury at or near birth and she also has weakened/damaged muscles on the left side of her neck. We are uncertain as to whether she can see out of her left eye, but will have that tested next week. Beth will also start Physical Therapy (Physiotherapy for my Canadian readers) and we hope to help her strengthen as she continues to grow. Please pray with us for complete healing for Little Beth.
Sweet Grace came to us after having a rough start to life. She as left on the side of the road by her mother because she was sick and the mother wanted to go see her boyfriend. Grace was in a coma by the time someone took her to the hospital and she was diagnosed with Menegitis and Tuberculosis. When her fever finally broke and Grace awoke from the coma the doctor discovered that she was blind. After several weeks the doctor was convinced that she could see again and her body was well enough that he discharged her to her Aunt, but sadly the Aunt had no means to care for this baby. Grace had regressed and at the age of 14-months was not able to sit, crawl, or even roll over. That is when the Aunt took the child to the Social Welfare department for help and that is how Grace came to us.
When we got her we didn’t know that she was blind or sick, we just knew she needed help. The Aunt really just handed her off and left – no mention of medication, treatment or blindness! She has now been also diagnosed with Hydro-Cephalus (water on the brain) and Cerebral Palsy. Grace is taken to Physical Therapy sessions once a week and the Aunties work with her daily to strengthen her muscles. She is such a sweet baby and loves to be held and loved.
When I was in Taiwan last month I was speaking at a Literature Conference for High School students. At the end of the day a young blind girl was brought to meet me. We had our photo taken together and I told her about our little blind baby back in Swaziland. The 16-year old turned her head towards me and said, “I am blind and I am a Christian. I will pray that Grace is completely healed and that one day she will see”. I almost fell apart in front of 200 Taiwanese students, but managed to keep it together until I got to the car. I too believe that Grace’s sight will be restored, even though her eye examination shows that would be impossible, but nothing is impossible for the God I serve.
I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Helen Muli, Thabile Mbhamali, Gcebile Shongwe and all the other women who care for and love the children at Project Canaan. They are the ones who change the diapers, administer the medication, clean up the vomit and wipe away the tears on a day-to-day basis. They are angels here on earth and we give thanks for their selfless service.
Today, and every day, we are praying for complete healing for Solomon, Beth and Grace. We also pray for mental, emotional and spiritual healing for all the children that have been brought to us for safekeeping. El Roi, the God Who Sees them, loves them very much and we are thankful that He has sent each of these precious children to us “for such a time as this”.
Live from South Africa … I am giving thanks for health and life.