Sorry that this is a long time coming. It is the follow-up to the blog posted in August
Based on the story, our Starfish Program has a focus “on those we CAN help”. The Starfish Program is for the mother at the gate with three children who has nobody to help her, and she is watching her children die of malnutrition. She thinks the only choice is admission of her beloved children to the orphanage, but there is a better way! We can offer support in the way of food, clothing, medical care and school sponsorship, often at a much lower price than admission to an orphanage. Sometimes, that is all the mother needs to be able to breathe easier, and know that she is not alone. We have the perfect opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus when we welcome a family into the Starfish program. We develop a relationship with the recipients and we can share the love of God much more easily!
We have had a huge increase in Starfish families recently. There are several likely reasons for this to happen: school is out so children are not getting their one meal a day that is usually provided by the local school. The prices of food here continue to climb, with the price of rice being beyond the ability of most people. We also have a number of families that lost their main financial supporter with a very serious accident in Cabaret about three weeks ago. A dump truck lost his brakes and slammed into the side of a roadside store and killed 10 people and injured many more. It was a sad and brutal accident. Regardless of the causes of the problem we are blessed to be able to help these families stay together and care for their children!
I think most of you heard that one of our Starfish children, Maxon died three months ago. He had a serious condition known as hydrocephalus, a problem that causes the head to grow very large and subsequently damages the brain. Usually these children die young, because their parents cannot feed them, and nobody will help care for them because they look so bizarre. The child’s head eventually becomes too big to lift and the child usually dies of secondary infection. We had a young mother present at the gates with a child similar to Maxon just on Monday. The girls name is Micheline, and she is 8 years old! She is beautiful, has a killer smile and moves her arms and legs around well. It is clear her mother loves her very much, and she looks well cared for and loved. Unfortunately, the mother is struggling because she cannot work, and she has 4 other young children living at home.
It is a priviledge to be able to help this mother! We were able to lend her a wheelchair that will allow Micheline to sit upright and see what is happening in the world. We can provide food and some of the more simple equipment that mom needs to continue to love her daughter. We hope to set her up with bras and other items to sell at her house so she can earn an income without leaving Micheline alone. We will bring her along with us when we go to hospital next and have the doctor reorder her seizure medications so that we can stop further damage. Developing a relationship is a wonderful way to be able to witness to these families, and we hope to bring them together for a bible study with Pastor Patrice starting next week.
Elder Feeding Program
With current health status of a developing country, Haiti’s average life span is not very old. When we find older people in the community it is always amazing that they have survived all the challenges of life.