I feared this moment so badly…I knew it was going to happen during my six month stay, there was no way to avoid it. I had watched Sharons updates on Facebook about children that were coming to her under horrific circumstances. Children abused, children left behind in their homes…even two children who were thrown in a deep toilet after the mother gave birth. I had been praying for the Lord to prepare my heart to be able to stand by and be apart of something like this…saving a human life after they have already been through so much pain at a young age. These sweet innocent children who don’t have a voice or any ability to fight back had already been put in such terrible situations of pain.
We were standing on beautiful farm land in a village two hours from Jinja buying a cow when the phone call came into Sharons phone. When she hung up she casually told me that there was a baby in Kampala who had been abandoned and needed help…the hospital was ready to discharge him. This baby is 2 months old and fighting for his life. His mother died during child birth and after a month of being with his father, he became very sick. He contracted gangrene (a horrible infection) on his head, suffered seizures and even slipped into a coma for 4 days. His father brought him to the hospital and when his condition didn’t get any better and the hospital bills started racking up…he left. This child…less than 2 months old…was all alone and in a lot of pain. After a month, the hospital was frustrated and ready for the open space since no one was coming to claim this child and it was costing them a lot of money. I have no idea how the system technically works, but Arise and Shines social worker was called and this brings us back to that phone call, during that beautiful sunset…surrounded by cows.
The hospital was requesting a lot of money for the discharge of this child. If Arise and Shine wanted to care for this child…they would have to pay. There isn’t an excessive amount of funds to any organization…but being here and seeing where it all goes daily is such a crazy experience. Food, milk man, tailoring projects, rent, medicine, hospital bills, etc. Now all of a sudden a new life is brought into the picture…where does one pull that money from? It doesn’t matter…there was no way Sharon wasn’t going to help save this life.
So today, on my walk to the babies home which is around 2.5 miles…I asked God to help me. To hold my hand. To hold this childs hand. To hold the staff of Arise and Shine. I prayed for Him to heavily be present on the day, we needed Him. I walked into those gates and the usual excitement I feel daily had turned into nerves. I wanted to love this child but he is so sick…how do I not focus on the infection that is covering more than half of his tiny little head?
Sharon led me into the room with a heavy heart and I somehow found myself on the ground by baby Praise’s side…holding his tiny little hand, looking into his beautiful eyes and telling him that he is so beautiful. Yes, there was a bandage covering an awful infection but that doesn’t define him even though he has had it more than half his life. He is pure, innocent and perfect. He is a fighter. He is Gods child. He is so meant to be here, right now, with us.
I love you, baby Praise.