He was ready to return home to his mom
The exciting sound of children’s laughter echoes across the warm, sun-baked ground. The savory smell of garlic and onion sizzling away on the well-used metal pot hangs in the air. These sounds and smells bring back a rush of memories for Judith**, as she walks along the grounds of GLA. She vividly remembers living within the walls of an orphanage; the place she called home for her first 8 years. Judith’s story is a familiar one in Haiti, where poverty and desperation are the norm. Judith’s parents, desperate to give their baby girl a chance at a future, made the heart-wrenching decision to surrender her to the local orphanage. Judith looks back at this time and remembers the love, care, and food she received from her nannies. She also thinks of the painful sacrifice her parents made to ensure she would be well provided for.
As an adult, Judith has spent many of her days working in the town of Bon Repos. Her life has come full circle as she finds herself caring for children who also are in need of food, love, and care. She says it’s her life’s goal to give back to those who also know first-hand the impact of poverty. Unfortunately, life took a tragic turn for Judith and her two sons. Last year, Judith lost her job. She was caring for her two sons and also providing for her nieces and nephews. With no income, Judith had no way to provide for the basic necessities, including food. Her situation was desperate and getting worse. She knew her youngest son, Jonas, was very ill. He had gone months without much to eat as a result of their difficult situation. At 7 months old, he weighed only 10lbs. His hair had turned a reddish color, his arms and legs were as thin as toothpicks, and his belly bloated. Jonas had all the signs of kwashiorkor syndrome, extreme malnutrition. He sat on the dusty ground, too weak to even try to move.
Judith cried out to the Lord, pleading for help for her son. It was then that a trusted member of her community told Judith about GLA. As any mother would, she scooped up Jonas and carried him to the gates of GLA, determined to find help for her suffering son. Jonas was admitted to the NICU nursery at GLA and began to receive the critically needed nutrition his body craved. Relief and joy coursed through Judith knowing she had arrived in time and Jonas had a chance at survival.
“Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.”
1Psalm 26:6 (NIV)
**Names and identifying information have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.