Impact Story – 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)
Many factors prevented Judith from remaining with Jonas at GLA so she tearfully bid her weakened son goodbye. She realized the best care for Jonas was available at GLA and she embraced this difficult choice in spite of the emotional challenge. Judith left Jonas in the nurses loving arms that day, but she came back often to see him and called the nurse regularly to check-in. Judith couldn’t hold her young son in her arms each night but she held him in continuous prayer. The Lord heard her prayers and moved in a miraculous way, as often happens on the grounds of GLA. God answered and Jonas turned a corner in his recovery. He began to put on weight, his muscles became stronger, his eyes brighter. After 5 months at GLA, Jonas was doing great, and now weighed almost 17lbs. He was ready to return home to his mom. Judith still struggles financially to provide for her little family. She is grateful for the care Jonas received while at GLA for assistance and also for the supplies GLA recently gave her to help care for her two children. She thanks the Lord for giving her and her boys another day together. God works miracles daily.
GLA is just the place, the workers are the people, but Guardians help make it possible through their regular funding of our mission. Please consider becoming a GLA Guardian through our child sponsorship program. Your financial commitment changes the trajectory of life for a little one, and your gift will help us be here when the next “Jonas” comes through these gates. **Names and identifying information have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.