I first met this girl 3 or 4 years ago. She lives in an area fairly close to our mission –an area we call “the River.” When teams from the U.S. visit us, it is a place we take them. We cross the river, then hike up into this community, carrying bags of rice, noodles, and cans of sardines. We hand out the dry goods and talk with the people. This area is quite poor. The people are squatters. There is no running water at their homes. The river is their source for the water they use for cooking, cleaning and drinking. You can often see people bathing or doing their laundry in the river.
Recently our outreach team, our CSM (Community Service Ministry), went to this area to do Bible Study for the adults and for the children, medical screenings, and a lugaw feeding. They reconnected with this little girl. She continues to grow up, yet her development is hindered by her deformity. Her speech, her eating, her self-esteem are all affected by the lack of medical care available to the people living around our mission. As I looked at this picture, I remembered the first time I met this girl and her mother. I remember that way the mother looked down at the ground as she held her child, ashamed of us seeing her child this way. But that day, I also saw in this mother a deep love for her child – a love that was not in any way altered by her child’s appearance.
I know a mother’s heart. Don’t you? Mothers hurt for their children when they have no ability to make things better for them. It is a deep hurt that says, “I love you. I wish I could help make your life better. I can’t, but I will be here, standing beside you, holding you when you cry.” This mother would do anything possible to help her child. But there is no help. What would be corrected in the U.S. with a series of surgeries will most likely never happen for this girl. So we pray – for the family to know God’s love, for the child to know how special she is to her heavenly Father, and for her to know that He has a special plan for her life.
I hope our mission can continue to minister to this family, both physically and spiritually. It is what we are called to do. It is why God has put us here.