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What A Difference ________ Makes

On Wednesday we shared about the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and how they seek to alleviate extreme poverty by 2015. One of eight goals seeks to address chronic hunger.

The importance of addressing hunger is twofold, and evident in the children in our programs. Less-than-optimal nutrition leads to decreased energy levels and disinterest social activities. If that disinterest extends to school (or more likely, if a child’s parents cannot afford schooling for the child) then more than the child’s height is stunted – the child’s very future is at stake.

But as Dr. Beyda will tell you, there is another (even darker) side to hunger. The stunted children he sees are actually the fighters, the ones who despite their lethargy and detached manner are persevering.

Although weak and sickly in our eyes, these children are the survivors. The UN Millennium Development Goals Report on child mortality estimates that in 2009 more than 8 million children died before their fifth birthday. The primary cause of these deaths was related "to malnutrition and lack of access to adequate primary healthcare and infrastructure, such as water and sanitation, in many developing countries.”

Providing basic healthcare and access to clean water and sanitation can eliminate the two diseases that account for more than 2.5 million deaths – pneumonia and diarrhea. This is what makes the ministry God has given us so important.

The low-cost yet highly effective measures (vitamins like the packet the child is holding in the picture above; antibiotics; rehydration therapies; and nutritional supplements like Medika Mamba enriched peanut butter paste) that Mission of Mercy and Medical Mercy provide to our children and their families are critical. Because this is what Dr. Beyda and the Medical Mercy teams see in our communities:

The filth is overwhelming. The stagnant water, algae and garbage filled, surrounds the children. They live in it, play in it, and sleep in it. I wonder how they make it from day to day.

I've been here 4 times in the past 15 months and it hasn't changed – but the children have. With our aggressive cholera education and prevention program, we saw only a handful of children who had had cholera and are doing okay, and we saw no active cases. Our quick response and initiative paid off.

And what a difference food makes. A few calories, a little protein, carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, gives a child an opportunity to grow and live. That's what we've been seeing. Well-fed children. A testimony to the Mission of Mercy program of feeding children in the projects.

We came, saw, treated, prayed, and loved. We ran 3 parallel tracts as planned: cholera education, nutritional assessment and rescue and physical exams. We had pharmacy running too as well as a streamlined registration process. All for the children. We are blessed to be where we and to do what we do. I hope that the children we saw today will one day do the same for others. Our God has asked that of us. To be servants to others. He's asked that of me and I'm happy to be doing so. Today, tomorrow and always.

This is the work you support as a Mission of Mercy sponsor, as a Medical Mercy supporter, as a faithful prayer warrior for our children. We say that food makes a difference, but the truth is, it's you and the compassion God placed in your hearts for these children. It's Jesus working through you to provide new hope for today and hope for eternity. 

To hear our president Mark Pluimer walk through a clinic with Dr. Beyda in Haiti, click the "Haiti Clinic Interview" link below. (A window will pop up, asking you to Open or Save the file. If you choose Open, after downloading the file will play from the default media player on your computer [iTunes, Windows Media, etc.] Or you can click Save and move the file to a player or device after it is downloaded.) We hope you enjoy hearing what Medical Mercy is doing in Haiti right now. We couldn't do it with out you!   

Haiti Clinic Interview

Reader Comments (1)

I think the blank could be filled in with one of two answers mentioned in the interview...but in reality they are the same.....in my eyes; the eyes of the children we sponsor and pray for .....Sponsorship = Hope......Thank you Mission of Mercy, Dr Beyda, and Mr Pluimer for all you do for the Lord.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Probus

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