In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

In Gratitude....

On the 26th of November, we celebrated American Thanksgiving here at GLA. Many of the visitors asked whether we celebrate this holiday in Scotland. Of course, we do not; Thanksgiving pays tribute to the Native Americans who helped the pilgrims survive their first winter in a new and strange land. I do not share in that heritage, yet I have been very much in the spirit of the season this week.

I am thankful, of course, for the abundance of rich and delicious food we enjoyed on Thanksgiving day. Turkey, delicately seasoned and cooked to perfection, fluffy mashed potatoes, green bean caserole, cranberry sauce, and pumkin pie. Yum! And at the end of the day, enough lefteovers to feed everyone all over again on Saturday. And an entire uncarved bird, still sitting in the fridge at the main house today!

Yes, we are trully blessed, and the poignancy of this blessing is all the more apparent, because the abundance comes immediately after the arrival of a new baby. Aged around 18 months old and severely malnourished, he weighed all of 14lb 1oz the day he arrived.

This frail baby is ravenously hungry, devours almost everything we give him, and then looks for more. The wonderful thing about this is that he will, in all likelhood, recover from his malnutrition very quickly. He is gaining weight all ready and the change in him is visible. Less loose skin, and, the hint of a double chin. But oh, how I wish he had never known the agony that starvation brings.

By the time this photograph was taken, just 3
days after he arrived, this tiny boy had all ready
gained 10 ounces.

His mother is 17 years old and pregnant. She has lived on the streets for several years, and is in a difficult place today. She is very sick, she has nothing and no-one in her life but this little boy, and, knowing that she cannot provide for him, she is now faced with a difficult decission; should she leave him here, just long enough to revover from his malnutrition, or must she give him up?

How glad I am that I have always had a home, parents who loved me; a place where I belonged. I never had to wonder where my next meal would come from, or if it would come at all. I had everything I needed, and so I did not have to do degrading things to survive.

This baby is all his mother has. If she decides to keep him, I cannot condemn her. If she gives him up, my heart will ache for her and I will be in awe of her sacrifice.

'This is the child for which I was praying, and Yahweh has granted
me what I asked of him. Now I make him
over to Yahweh for the whole of his life.' (1 Samuel; 26-27).

I don't know that I have Hannah's kind of faith. Please join me in prayer for our new boy, and his mother. Pray that God would touch both their lives, and give thanks that GLA is here, and that tight though our finances are, we were able to say yes when we got a call about a toddler boy who desperately needed us. It is thanks to the generosity of friends and strangers, that GLA can continue it's ministry. I am so grateful for their gifts.

If you feel led to give, click here.

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