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Saturday, June 15, 2019

3-month-old twin girls

Twins Lily and Lucky - both severely malnourished.
I know this will sound completely crazy, but many (if not MOST) of the times we get a call about a baby in need, we will be given very incorrect information initially.  I could be picking up a newborn baby at the hospital and told by the nurses that it is a boy and then when I go to change the diaper and dress the baby, it is definitely a girl. I am not sure why this happens so often, if the sex of the child isn’t as relevant to my Swazi friends as it is to us or what, but it happened again this week.

We were called about two 3-month-old girls (twins) who were starving to death. The mother was leaving them alone with preschool age children and none of them had anything to eat.  When we went to pick up the babies we found 8-month-old twins - a girl and a boy.  The “starving” part was accurate, particularly for the little boy (whom we are calling “Lucky”).  When we took both babies to see the doctor, the doctor was very familiar with them and had admitted them in the hospital for malnutrition on multiple occasions, only to have them come back after being discharged. The mother simply had no food and no ability to care for them. Lucky was admitted to the hospital again (he only weighs 9 pounds/4.5 KG)  the very next morning and will stay there until his little body is stabilized. 

The photo at the top of this blog is Lily (left) and Lucky (right).   The photo below is of our little boy named Josiah (left) and Lucky (right). Lucky is one day OLDER than Josiah, and you can see the significant size difference. That is the difference between a baby coming to us as a newborn (which 60% of our babies come to us under 30-days-old) and getting a child after he/she has suffered for a long time.  Sometimes the results are irreversible and sometimes they can make a full recovery, but we won’t know the long-term cognitive effects for many years.

These two boys are the same age - Lucky (right) is stunted from malnutrition.
Lily and Lucky are our 12th set of twins.  We also have 10 sets of biological siblings (not twins), but we learned yesterday that Lily and Lucky’s older brother also lives at Project Canaan.  He is our toddler named “Innocent”.  The mother of these children has had TEN babies – three are with us, three have died of starvation and we don’t know where the other four are. 

On Thursday the Project Canaan Academy had their annual talent show, and as always, it was OUTSTANDING.  The winning act of the show was the Comic Duo of Jerimiah and Grace.  For those of you who don’t know these two children, Jerimiah is very serious, reserved and unexpressive and Grace is the child whom we were told would never sit, walk or talk.  Jeremiah delivered the joke “Why are fish so smart?” and Grace would respond “Why Jeremiah?” and they brought the house down with laughter! 

The video below shows Jeremiah start by saying, in his mono-tone voice, “We are going to tell you some really funny jokes, I hope you are ready to laugh.”

The reason I share this with you is two-fold. First, I LOVE how our staff know the children so well and work hard to use their gifts (in this case Jeremiah is very smart and could memorize two full minutes worth of jokes!) and second because these children were left alone to die but God had and has a plan for each of them and we are here to help them live their best lives.  In fact, Jeremiah was given his name from Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

Can I get an “amen”?

Both Lily and Lucky now have a chance to live their best lives and we need your help to do that.  Will you please consider signing up to sponsor one of them today?

Live from eSwatini … it’s good to be home.


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