His knees tucked underneath him, the little boy pulled himself along the floor with his hands, trying in vain to reach a soccer ball across the room.
His mother’s question was simple: Can you help a disabled child?
Berhanu’s parents had done all they could. Born with a congenital limb deformity that turned his feet backward and upside down, his mother (on a doctor’s advice) would gently turn his feet in the proper direction. But Berhanu required surgery, and his parents spent everything they had to correct his feet.
After a series of casts, Berhanu learned to walk using special shoes. But like any young boy, he soon grew out of those shoes, and his parents couldn’t afford new ones. Berhanu’s feet began to turn again. His father left for another city in hopes of finding work to provide a new pair of shoes, but he could not find a job.
So when Mission of Mercy arrived in her town, Berhanu’s mother took the child in her arms and sought help. Her neighbors had ostracized her, fearing that Berhanu was disabled because of his parents’ sin or as punishment from God.
His mother thought differently. Berhanu began attending the project. He was prayed over. His mother was encouraged as Berhanu began to interact more with other children. And yet at the break of each activity, a teacher had to carry Berhanu just to help him play with the others.
But God was at work, and soon Berhanu was back at the hospital, getting evaluated again for another surgery. This time the burden was not on Berhanu’s parents alone – they had the support of the Mission of Mercy project and the church, as at the time Berhanu did not have a sponsor.
The Children’s Crisis Fund helped offset the cost of his care in the hospital as well as food and transportation for Berhanu’s mother, who was required to stay by his side as he recovered.
Two months later, his casts were removed and new shoes and crutches were ordered. Berhanu is hard to stop now! And his mother cannot contain her joy as she watches Berhanu race others to the swings. “The day he walked on his own without rest was the happiest day of my life,” she said.
His father heard the news of God’s provision and came back to visit. So encouraged by Berhanu’s physical and social development, his father decided to stay. He and Berhanu’s mother now visit the project regularly for counseling and support as he looks for work.
Berhanu’s life was changed on several levels: Mission of Mercy’s project gave him the opportunity to receive educational support and the health screenings which led to the surgery that was previously out of reach for his parents. And faced with evidence of God’s tremendous care for their son, Berhanu’s parents’ lives were charged with new hope.
The Children’s Crisis Fund allowed us to meet Berhanu’s need and forever change his prospects for the future. We use the CCF in urgent situations, like Edmond’s cholera treatment, or when another surgery might make all the difference. Thank you for your support for our children, as sponsors and beyond.