A new update from the medical team in Orissa, India, who are seeing just why one child matters.
Expect the unexpected. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. It’s never what we think. And that is what the day was like. Not the flow of the clinic, nor the attitude of the team, or the dynamics of seeing another 300 patients today, but it was the patients.
Smaller in stature than yesterday, a little sicker, and their stories that were far from the norm. There were a lot of wonderful ones, children being seen, hugged, sung to and with, prayed with, and played with. That was the majority. The evidence of compassion and love for the children we saw was everywhere.
But like it or not, it is the occasional unexpected encounter or worst case scenario that puts the whole day into perspective. That things happened and whether we like it or not, we are faced with it to deal with. Three children stood out:
One child whose only complaint was that he was depressed. He lives in boarding house for children who are single or double orphans (one or both parents having died). He received news in the manner of a letter addressed to him that his father died recently.
Another child had with him a picture of his parents taken a while back. He was 10 years old. He showed me the picture and asked me if I had seen them or knew anything about them. He hadn’t seen them in 5 years. He woke up one day and they were both gone. He lived in the street until he found a home in the village that we were in. He was taken in by a kind family. I looked at the picture and couldn’t find the words to speak. I simply shook my head no. He shook his head as well as he silently cried. I hugged him and prayed with him. He left, the picture still clutched in his hand.
And the third child 6 years old. I asked her if I could take her picture and if I could show others to witness to her that she was as much a child to be valued and recognized by all. She was hesitant at first, but then said yes. Burned by falling into a pot of boiling water at the age of 3, she survived as you see her here. She told me that she won’t look in the mirror. She is the daughter of a fisherman and his wife, the lowest class of a caste system in this region. Poorer than poor.
She was not a One Child Matters sponsored child, but one of the children in the village who came to us for medical care. I realized that if she wasn’t embraced and surrounded by a loving community, she would be lost to the world. Never marrying, being ridiculed, and maybe even worse -- being taken advantage of, or even taking her own life later on.
One Child Matters has a vision and mission to care for those children who are less than fortunate, to prove that one child matters. This child is one of them. She is now a One Child Matters child, and sponsored. I am humbled to be able to be part of her life from now on.
In all things give thanks,