Growing up in the USA, I remember my parents always telling me to eat my vegetables! I also cannot remember a single time that I went hungry because there was no food! Ever. There was always more than enough. Usually, Mom would cook enough to have leftovers for the next day's lunch. I was never in want for food.
Unfortunately, that is not the case here in Uganda. We are seeing more and more cases of malnourishment here. Everyone here is at risk and affected to some degree but children below the age of 5 are especially at risk.
Literally, every day, mothers come to the medical clinic seeking help for their starving children.
The first child that comes to mind is Sylivia. She was the first malnourished chlld I had been directly involved with. I remember holding her and being afraid that she would die in my arms. As you know, she did not die, God healed her and now she is a healthy little girl that loves to play and laugh. (See posts from November 2015)
Ivan was the second child that I have been involved with. I must say, he stole my heart. He was so small, so weak and had such a HUGE head (because of hydrocephalus ). He had surgery on his head and we fed him around the clock every three hours. He recently graduated from the program! His little legs and arms are actually fat now! I love it!
Word has spread and now we have women coming from all over. We have had two new babies come recently; Samaya and Anna.
Samaya is 9 months old, but a premie onesie is too big for her! She is terribly malnourished and suffers from epilepsy. I must admit that when I hold her in my arms, my hand completely covering her back, my heart breaks for her. I tend to wonder is there is any hope for her.
But, one day, as these thoughts of doubt were running through my mind, I saw Sylivia , sitting in a chair on the porch, looking at me through the open door and smiling. God spoke to me right then, "Remember her? You thought she would die too. But I have healed her. Remember, I am in control. Nothing YOU are doing will heal her. I am the Great Healer."
Wow! What a lesson! You would think I would have learned it right then, holding that tiny baby and looking at that healthy girl. But I didn't.
Again, a mother came, this time, the mother of triplets! the third born, Anna, is not getting enough breast milk. She is 5 months old and tiny.
I took her, her sisters, and her mother home one day and my heart broke! A tiny one room place. The mother showed me where to lay the child I was holding. It was just on the cement floor with a sheet underneath her! I laid her down and she started screaming. I picked her up again, unwilling to leave her in such a place.
I looked around, noticed day old boiled potatoes and nothing else to eat. There was one mattress and one old mosquito net. My heart broke. How could I leave these babies here? I would like to say that the Lord spoke to me again and told me that He was in control. But He didn't speak right then. I had to leave the babies, unwillingly.
Later, as I was sharing with Brenda about the conditions of the home, the Lord spoke through Brenda. She said, "Well, I guess we need to open a baby house and let those triplets be the first residents!" My jaw dropped but I jumped on the idea!
Actually, that is not at all the way it went. She ACTUALLY said, "You have to realize that we can only do the best we can and trust the Lord to do the rest."
Ugh. That was not what I wanted to hear. But I knew it was correct. I would like to say that I have learned the lesson God is teaching me. I would like to say that my heart does not hurt, even now, as I write, while I think of these children. I cannot say that. I have a huge lump in my throat right now and a tear in my eye. Trusting God is difficult sometimes.
But, I am trying and I am "working out my faith." I am also loving on those babies every chance I get and mixing those bottles!