Saturday, February 23, 2019
You might not believe these photos
In the image above, you will see the baby on the right is 5-week-old Nicholas Vilkati (son to our nurse Hannah). He weighs 12-pounds and is 21 inches long.
Beside him on the left is baby Lethu who arrived to us last week. She is 14-months-old and weighs 12-pounds, just like Nicholas. She is a few inches longer, but they are basically the same size.
Below is a photo with a third baby in it and her name is Rejoice. She came to us as a newborn and was born just three days before Lethu, so that photo shows the size that Lethu should be if she had proper nutrition from birth.
This is classic malnutrition, with stunting associated with it. According to the WHO, "Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation." We have a chronic problem in the Kingdom of eSwatini of children not having enough food or not enough nutritious food for proper development. When Lethu came to us last week she had not eaten in days. It’s hard for most people reading this blog to imagine that, but we are seeing it more and more.
We continue to provide hot meals to thousands of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s) through our 30 church partners each month. Our partnerships with Feed My Starving Children and the International Egg Commission/Foundation make this possible. But now we are also providing food to other small orphanages, halfway house and social welfare offices so that they have food to give people who come in begging for help.
I wish I could say that things are getting better here, but it seems that they are not. On Thursday we were in the southern part of the country and drove through river beads that were bone dry, despite the rains we have had lately.
Below is a chart with some staggering statistics that was presented to a group of stakeholders who are caring for the OVC’s of the nation.
Please join us in praying for this nation, for the children who are suffering and for the young mothers who have to do unfathomable things to provide for their children.
Live from eSwatini … come Lord Jesus, come.