Entries in response (43)
The care your sponsored child receives can impact so many areas of life. Dr. Beyda traveled to Ethiopia to look at the Medical Mercy's Health Care Worker program and what it means for children there:
Fruits of our labour. Plant a seed. Teach them to fish. All are familiar phrases that address doing something for someone in order to make them self sufficient and show their success, to give them an opportunity to succeed, and to put in place a plan that will grow. It is what we strive to do for those who are less fortunate than most, and who are willing, dedicated, motivated, and driven to make the best of what they have been given.
The Healthcare Worker (HCW) program I developed 7 years ago, is that seed, that teaching to "fish," that opportunity, to give those lay persons who are responsible for the welfare of our Mission of Mercy children, the knowledge and the tools to ensure that our children are healthy.
The intent of the HCW program is to ensure sustainability of healthcare needs of the children after our medical teams leave. The HCW becomes the one source for healthcare needs in their projects. There are now trained HCWs in Cambodia, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Kenya.
The question is, has the HCW program been successful? That's why I'm here in Ethiopia, to see if it has made a difference. I spent several hours the first day reviewing their knowledge base, given them some advanced lectures and quizzing them. No need for worries there. They were sharp, inquisitive, and motivated. I then went to the projects and did a medical standards assessment on the healthcare of the children. Here is a summary:
We have 11 projects in Ethiopia with about 3000 children that we care for. There are 9 HCWs here, having completed their training just over a year ago when we came here to do clinics. They worked with us for 5 days and were seeing patients on their own most of the time, making the right diagnosis and starting the right treatment.
In one year since they have been on their own, here's what I've found:
- Referrals to outside clinics are down by 55%
- Healthcare costs for the projects are also down by 50%
- The HCW is seeing on average 10 children a month
- 32 children were identified with potentially life threatening illness, treated and never hospitalized
- Children with chronic illness such as TB, malnutrition and anemia have been identified and are followed on a regular schedule of physical exams and treatment by the HCW
- Medical records for all children are now in the child's respective folder
Outcome measures that are positive, fruitful and successful. There is more that I've found in addition to what I've listed above, but I hope you see the effect of this HCW program. The Mission of Mercy are well cared for.
I leave for Kenya tomorrow to do the same there, except this time, I'll have my medical team with me. 18 US team members. We will have 5 days of clinics and the HCWs will work with us. Fruits of our labour. Planting a seed. Teaching them to fish. The children are better for it.
In all things give thanks,
As we reflect today on the actions of Jesus in his last hours, we consider the way we approach our own lives. Can Jesus' sacrifice also affect the way we approach sponsorship?
One sponsor shares how meeting even the simplest need during a mission trip to Kenya gave everything new meaning.
Today is World Water Day – do you know what your commitment to changing the life of a child allows Mission of Mercy to do?
Because of your sponsorship, we can ensure your sponsored child has access to clean water sources at the project they attend.
Because of your faithfulness, our project staff can reinforce common hygiene practices with the children, who then go home and teach their families and communities, improving the health of all.
Most importantly, because of your prayers and support, we can introduce children to the source of living water, Jesus Christ, and give them access to the abundant life Jesus promises us throughout scripture.
Your contribution is so much larger than those three items reflect. But we want to take a moment to say THANK YOU for what you do on behalf of a child overlooked by many and overwhelmed by the lack he or she faces.
Thank you for providing the means (in more ways than one) to change the health, outlook, and spiritual life of a child.
To learn more about how water affects the daily life of children in our programs, read this story. You can also click here for a reflection on how God uses water to minister to us.
Friends, we are so thankful to tell you that the children and staff at our Xai-Xai program were not injured in Tropical Storm Dando.
We do know, however, that many of the children's homes were severely damaged. Many homes in Xai-Xai are built of reeds and thatch and could not withstand the wind and rain.
The lightweight nature of the materials was also a bit of a blessing for children like Fernando pictured at left, who was inside his home when it collapsed. Thankfully he escaped with little more than a few scratches.
As you can see, much needs to be done to help rebuild the Xai-Xai community. You can help by making a donation to the Children's Crisis Fund, which is available for children whose homes were destroyed. As we reported earlier, we are also raising funds to repair the roof of the Xai-Xai project's building (which also acts a church).
We appreciate your prayers and support for the residents of Xai-Xai. These difficult times also provide an opportunity for the love of Christ to become tangible for those who have so little. Thank you for all you do.
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 Mission of Mercy 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.
Mission of Mercy 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 Mission of Mercy child, and sponsored. I am humbled to be able to be part of her life from now on.
In all things give thanks,
Another update from Dr. Beyda on Medical Mercy's first day of clinics in India:
Sometimes we’re focused on the big picture…and lose sight of the details.
The big picture: 300 patients today, day one of clinic. Due to the incredible pre-planning of the India support staff, we set in motion a medical clinic with both old and new members getting into the swing of things very quickly.
Dental hygiene, water filtration, first aid education on one tract, nutritional assessment in another. Medical exams in a third tract, and pharmacy dispensing meds in their tract. A total of 50 people making this happen. The US team, Indian support team, interpreters, teachers, and helpers all working together to see 300 children. That was the big picture.
Now focus. Stunting affects over 60 million children India. Stunting is when the child’s height does not match the age. Short, small, little growth, and nutritionally depleted. In this picture you see Jeremy on the right, a healthy 13-year-old US boy. The Indian boy next to him is also 13. He is one of 60 million children in India who are stunted. Can we help? Not in the sense of getting him to grow anymore, but we can simply assure him that despite his size, he is as valuable a member of the community as anybody else. We did that. He smiled, became animated and we focused. On him.
Polio is still prevalent in India despite the availability of vaccines. Poor compliance and a lack of awareness and education yields what we see here. A brace, old style, bulky, uncomfortable, worn for life. No physical therapy. She asks if there is a way to make her leg stronger. The hard answer is no. What we can do is make her life more comfortable by getting here a new brace, one that is light weight, comfortable and less obtrusive. We’re working on that.
Focus. We did alright for the first day. The big picture is clear. There are a lot of children here who need to be cared for. Mission of Mercy is doing that. It is the details of the picture, the areas of the picture that are difficult to see that Medical Mercy is focusing on. The individual child, their needs, and how they live as it relates to their health care.
We’ll stay focused the rest of the week and look closely at those who we come to serve. Our eyes will be strained as a result, but our hearts will be filled.
In all things give thanks,
In the aftermath of the recent flooding in southern Honduras, information about our children and projects has slowly started to trickle in.
Mission of Mercy is incredibly blessed to work with several passionate partners on the field, such as the staff of Children's Cup who help us minister to children in Swaziland and Mozambique.
Nothing encourages us more than when the body of Christ comes together to meet the needs of children. Even the smallest act, such as measuring basic food stuffs, can make a huge impact.
Yesterday we received some photos of our Children's Cup friends in Swaziland unpacking 1252 boxes of food from another partner, Feed My Starving Children.
The "Manna Packs" that Feed My Starving Children donates to organizations like Mission of Mercy are enriched with protein and nutrients which are essential for meeting the nutritional needs of children in our programs, especially in remote areas where food and transportation costs are so high.
In addition to Swaziland, we have used Feed My Starving Children rice packs in Haiti after the devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic.
Several shipments also went to Kenya in response to the severe drought and famine there. Over the course of a year and a half, Feed My Starving Children and Mission of Mercy made sure over 1 million meals made it to the mouths of hungry children in several areas around the globe.
What's amazing about all of these Kingdom connections is that several of our headquarters staff in Colorado Springs will volunteer to pack Feed My Starving Children meals at area churches this weekend. We are thrilled to take part in a program that we know saves lives!
We also want to ask for prayer for the continued needs in Kenya. The drought in the Horn of Africa continues to impact families across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya. We are coordinating with Feed My Starving Children to send another shipment to our projects in Kenya, and the logistics are always harried. Please pray that we can quickly cut through the bureaucracy and customs issues and get this critical food source to the children and families who need it most!
If you'd like to help us ensure that our children in Kenya receive the nutrition they need, please consider donating to the Children's Crisis Fund. Thank you!
The needs of Haiti may seem overwhelming, but we are strengthened when we see how God has worked through you and your prayers. Click the link below to get a better idea of all that we've done in Haiti, and don't miss the video message from Haiti at the end!
Yesterday Dr. Beyda met a boy who proves that chronic hunger has life-long consequences. More thoughts from the Medical Mercy team, and more reasons to fight to change the life of a child.
Dr. Beyda gives us another update as he wraps up his emergency assessment trip in Haiti. What does he see when he steps outside our projects? Are all our efforts making a difference?
Standing in the midst of a cholera treatment center, we received some unexpected encouragement from Doctors Without Borders today...
Jack sends us another dispatch from northern Haiti, where cholera continues to spread. Yet now, thanks to the time he spent in a little community south of Limbe, cholera has a face.
Jack Eans, our Vice President for International Child Ministries, is back on the ground in Haiti, helping to evaluate the situation at our projects. He sends us this report, which gives us all the more reason to pray.
Thank you for your continued prayers for the people of Haiti. The spread of cholera is a stark reminder that even the simplest needs must be met to create a better life for a child.
Click the link below if you would like to help us cover the cost of meeting these needs.
If you sponsor a child in Haiti, please know that if your child is affected, we will contact you as soon as possible. We are in daily (if not hourly) contact with our staff. Here is a short update on our ongoing response to the cholera epidemic:
Each of our project directors have received additional shipments of bleach, antibacterial soap, and oral rehydration supplies. Since last week, they and the two community members selected by the project have undergone further hands-on training to help identify, treat, and prevent cholera.
As the project directors set up community trainings and resource distribution, the two community members will resume their home visits, assessing each family’s water use and needs as well as the health of the children.
Mothers will be encouraged to bring their children to the projects as needed, but especially if they have been ill. The children will receive an enriched meal and rehydration liquid. This also gives our staff the opportunity to evaluate the child’s health, especially the dehydration and malnutrition levels. Mothers will have access to training and hygiene supplies.
Dr. Beyda will arrive next week to continue these assessments and provide guidance for staff. He will work with local clinics and cholera treatment centers to provide treatment and assistance to our children. Medical Mercy will take a team back to our northern projects in the first week of January.
We are so grateful for your sustained prayers. We are seeing God move in response to this need, continuing to provide for and protect our staff and children. As always, watch this space for any future updates.
Due to the continued spread of cholera and violent protests in the northern cities, all normal Mission of Mercy project activities in Haiti are currently on hold. The project and staff are moving into new roles due to this crisis. Click the link below to learn more -- they need your prayer!
What does it mean for the parent of a sick child to see a member of their community working toward their healing?
Learn more about the Health Care Worker training and check out more pictures on Dr. Beyda's blog.
Praying for the team's safe travels.
In all things, give thanks!