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, 2 May 2010

A Mixed Blessing

"Your Question presumes that poison is bad; that such creations have no purpose. Many of the so-called bad plants, like this one, contain incredible properties for healing, or are necessary for some of the most magnificent wonders when combined with something else" ( From The Shack, William Paul Young).

As Christians, we are taught that our God is good, and that he is forever working through our most difficult and painful life events. If we truly grasp his goodness, then although we cannot understand what he is doing, we trust in him. Yet sometimes, it is hard, so hard, to swallow the truth of God's goodness.

2010 has been a year in which those of us working at GLA have been witness to suffering on a scale we never could have imagined. Out of this devastation, God has worked miracles for dozens of children in our care, who, overnight, were able to join permanent families overseas. Some of these children were extremely sick and might not have survived much longer in Haiti. Our Lord used the brokenness of an entire nation to do something wonderful in their lives.

Several weeks into the year, he has done has again done just this for one of my new babies. She is almost three months old and her name is Abigaelle. She was two months old and she weighed less than 3.5lb when she arrived around a month ago. This precious baby had almost starved to death in hospital. In the aftermath of the earthquake, her mother had not been unable to find a hospital in which to deliver her infant. Abigaelle was born on the roadside and her mother died shortly afterwards.

Abigaelle was admitted to General hospital several weeks after her birth. She was severely malnourished and her impoverished family were advised that she needed formula milk, and that the hospital could not provide this. The hospital started Abigaelle on intravenous fluids. Her Father watched over her, growing ever more concerned as his tiny daughter grew thinner and thinner.

At the same time, in another city hospital, baby Jonathon, another orphaned infant, was also starving to death. His family could not afford formula milk and as his condition deteriorated, Jonathon's Pediatrician appealed to a US human milk bank. A shipment of US donor breast milk was sent to Les Cayes, but it arrived to late for Baby Jonathon. Dixie Bickel received a call from the hospital. They had several liters of pasteurized breast milk. Could we use it?

Meanwhile, Abigaelle, frail though she was, was clinging onto life, had been released from hospital and delivered into our care. She was suffering from diarrhoea, and she had what we later learned was an abscess on her neck. Although she initially thrived, she developed a parasitic gut infection last week, that caused profuse watery diarrhoea.

Abigaelle was on an IV for four days. As she recovers, she is being fed on the donor breast milk that was intended for baby Jonathon. She is healing now, just as Luc and Beni and Kerline were healed by this wonderful milk.

And so it becomes clear that through one family's terrible loss, four sick infants have been been restored to health. This is God at work. I ache for Jonathon and for his grieving father, and I am beside myself knowing that many other orphaned babies in Haiti will face the same fate that Jonathon faced. It is wrong, wrong, wrong that he died! Although such a death can never be justified, I believed that it has been redeemed.

Yes, at GLA, through our great sorrow, we see our God at work. Please continue to pray for our staff and the children, and for the people of Haiti during these extraordinary days.

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