I met Belinda’s mother at church in March, 2012 and she came and visited Belinda at home on a couple of occasions when I was there. I was blessed to see this baby turn one year old the day I left at the end of March. Her recovery was remarkable considering she had been headed for severe malnourishment and probable permanent physical and mental deficiencies in an uninterrupted future. Firmin and Magalie may have saved her life by taking her in.
When Liz and I returned in June, we saw Belinda’s mother again in church and found her hard to recognize. Her face was gaunt, her eyes dark and sunk in, her general demeanor defeated. When we asked what was going on, we learned that she was pregnant again. Oh, dear. Birth control is out of the financial reach of most of these families, and when asked about her pregnancy she began to cry. She knew she could not care for another child.
We watched her closely when we returned in September and she looked better. It appeared the baby was growing normally,
In those days, we would often see 50 kids in a day so by the time we saw Neftali and her mom Edna, it was about 1:00 in the afternoon. It was probably at least 100° in the church that day. Neither mom or child looked good and the baby, at a month, only weighed 6 pounds. We weighed mom and baby then sat down to chat. She said the baby had diarrhea and she didn’t have any milk to nurse her. I asked what she had eaten that day. Nothing. I asked what she had to drink that day. Nothing! Holy cow! There is no way you can produce milk for a baby without nourishing the mom! I gave her a liter of cold water and she chugged the whole thing!
We have continued to work with this family, assisting financially at times, educating, encouraging and planning. Both parents are committed believers, both parents strongly desire to be able to provide for their family and improve the future for their children.
Before the cholera outbreak that followed the earthquake in 2010, Josef sold ‘fresco’ a shaved ice treat with sweetened flavored syrup much like sno-cones. He made a very modest income and obviously not enough to support his small family. Since the cholera outbreak that business has been very slow and sometimes non-existent due to people’s lack of trust in the safety of the ice.
We are currently planning, educating and praying with Josef and Edna on choosing, running and growing a small business in the hope that we will be able to provide a small ‘loan’ to get them started with a cottage business that can truly support their family. Possibilities: buy and sell young goats, small store in their home, raise rabbits and small birds for food, grow the fresco business. We are all praying for God’s guidance on how to best empower this family to become all He intends them to be! And to ensure the next generation becomes educated productive members of the future Haiti and followers of Jesus Christ!
And Belinda? She is now nearly 2 ½ years old. She talks like a two year old, we have watched her learn to walk and run, go through her ‘NO’ streak and graduate from toddler to pre-schooler! She loves to dance and pose for picture so we will treat you to a few.
Here are a few photos of the Darius home:
Walk up to the house (at top)
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