This is Mackenlove. He is 2 1/2 years old and weighs 15 pounds. He is in the beginning stages of kwashiorkor. His dad carried him for about 4 hours one way to get to the clinic. His mom just had a new baby. There are three other siblings at home. The family has lost 2 children to fever and diar.
Mackenlove’s dad has been losing weight as well. They just do not have enough food to feed everyone in the house. I have heard the comment a thousand times. If they do not have enough food then why do they continue to have kids. Seems logical to our minds right? But you have not lived their lives you have not walked in their shoes. So the easiest way to find out why is to just ask. Don’t assume. There is no life insurance here, there is no health insurance for the poor, there is no SS checks that will come later in life, there is no retirement. When they get to the point that they cannot work and provide for themselves they are at the mercy of others. They have to depend on others to take care of them and feed them. The people most likely to do that for them is their family and that most likely will be their children. They have dreams for their children. They want them to have a better life. They want them to live well. They want them to be happy. But what if they only have two or three kids. The hardships of life here are real. They are in your face real everyday. They are thinking each day where they will find food to fix that day. It is day-to-day survival. It is hard to find a family that has not lost at least one child to illness. Health care is …….well it is very poor here. It is hard to find help. It is hard to buy medications. It is hard to walk miles with a sick child. Diar and other illnesses can kill within a few days. Most in our area farm the fields. No tractors, combines, or equipment here. They use their hands, hoes, machetes, picks and shovels. They work in the hot sun. They plant and pray that they rains will come. They harvest by hand and carry the produce for miles and miles to sell in markets. If they have even a few acres of land they cannot farm it by themselves. They again depend of their family, and children to help. It is the way of life here.
This is Jackson. He is 10 months old and weighs 11 pounds. His dad is dead (earthquake). His mom is struggling to feed herself and her two children now. She has lost two kids to diar. She needs a few weeks to try to get things in order after everything that has happened in the past few months. She was very upset to leave Jackson. But she felt it was the best choice for him and her right now. He is already getting better and eating well.
Psalm 25:5-7 (The Message)
5 Take me by the hand;
Lead me down the path of truth.
You are my Savior, aren’t you?
6 Mark the milestones of your mercy and love, God;
Rebuild the ancient landmarks!
7 Forget that I sowed wild oats;
Mark me with your sign of love.
Plan only the best for me, God!