Monday, May 19, 2014

prayers for Jovian

I can hold babies. I can sign paperwork to commit to their care. I can humbly ask you to join us in providing for them financially even when we go months and months receiving no help. I can love them and I can promise that before they leave our care, if they are old enough, they will learn about Jesus. If they aren't old enough to comprehend, they will at least feel His love. I can fight for them. I can protect them. But oh, y'all, when we start to investigate their stories, this is where it becomes too much. I want to go to the nearest corner, curl up in the fetal position and just hide there until I'm noticed. One of our newest children, Jovian, is 3. We are referred abandoned children all the time and we always say, "I can't imagine what his/her little life has seen." It's one thing for us to imagine the trauma but another thing to know. To hear the words straight from the lips of family - the ones that are supposed to love and care for them.

Jovian's father was burned alive for stealing. That's unfortunately very common here - the police do nothing to it's a vigilante thing. His mother was "disappointed" in this so she took him to live with his Auntie who is also HIV+ with two HIV+ children. She couldn't stand another positive child in her home so she took him to the grandfather. His grandfather, refusing to raise another child that might turn out like his father, left Jovian to starve. Alone. To starve. At 3 years old. A good samaritan found him and took him to the step-grandmother who is also HIV+ and faints at times for no reason. Fearing she couldn't adequately care for him, she brought him to the authorities who placed him with us. He arrived severely malnourished and it was as if his legs could not hold him up. We started the refeeding process and his body rejected any and all food. He slowly accepted formula and when he was stable we took him to be tested, were told he is HIV+ and sat stunned in the clinic for 3 hours as the clerks played on their phones and chatted amongst themselves. We were literally holding a child that was dying right before our eyes. When you try to show any sense of urgency, your file will be placed at the bottom of the pile.

We are excited to share with you that this same little boy is responding so well to formula, some foods, and the ARVs (drugs used to suppress the HIV virus). We can see God, on a minute-by-minute basis, redeeming His life. He can now play with other children and not spend all day withering away in one spot. These pictures were taken 5 days apart and we can not wait to see God has in store for this precious boy.

Would you take some time today to praise God for His healing power, to pray for Jovian, and to ask God how He might have you join us in caring for the children in our care?

To become a monthly sponsor, you can sign up using the "Sponsor Ekubo Children's Home" button.


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Saturday, April 12, 2014

entering into the mess and finding solutions {Ekubo Children's Home}

Pouring over paperwork for the newest children brought into Ekubo Children's Home. Such horrific circumstances. Such trauma that these children have to endure at an age where they know what is going on. They are quiet at first but when they know they are safe, they start to talk. I do not want to hear these stories. I want them all to be babies where I can only imagine. When they are older, they know. And they flat out tell the truth. Their stories are painful. They touch deep down in my heart and I have no immediate solutions without funding to act. Our newest little girl - my goodness. Her mother was chased away from their village after her grandson died in her care. It was such chaos for the mother that she left her children behind. Another organization got some of the children and we got the 4-year-old little girl. The file shows that her oldest daughter burned her house down. She must have been the mother of the baby who died. But she burned the house down with her siblings inside. Such rage. Such anger. And oftentimes, because the cause of death is unknown, they think Witchcraft was involved when the truth could be Malaria. Or pneumonia. Anything. So much confusion. It looks so simple from the outside but so complex when so many lives are affected and so many lies are believed. And our social workers are amazing at entering into the mess and finding solutions. But we need funds to continue. While we love and nurture these children as if they were our own, in the case of this little girl and her siblings, their mother is out there somewhere. I live this daily. I love these children but they don't belong with us. We are just a temporary safe haven. These children need to be in their families - wherever that might be. We have resettled 14 so far this year and if you would go go a step further and join us by becoming a monthly sponsor of the home, we can continue immediately. If you can't help monthly, how about a one-time gift? Something. Anything. Please.




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