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First Day Of Clinics In India

Children wait patiently to be seen by the Medical Mercy's team.After 30 hours of traveling, the Medical Mercy team arrived safely in India with all their luggage -- praise God! They had an afternoon of orientation to prepare for their first set of clinics. Here, Dr. Beyda recounts their day:

Every now and then we have a day that we want to forget -- or remember. A day that is so out of the ordinary, so different, that it strikes a chord in our hearts and minds and plays a tune that makes us smile or gives us pause. Today was one of those days.

Not knowing what to expect, we drove almost 2 hours to a remote province where we walked down a dirt road to a hidden school, a haven with children waiting. All were in uniform, white shirts, pants, skirts and blue ties for both boys and girls.

We were surprised. Where were the poor and the isolated? Where were the malnourished and the weak? Where were the sick? Wait for it. They were there, but hidden behind smiles and a sense of community in a school that offered an education and an opportunity to pursue a better life than the one the children were born into.

And now here is what's behind the uniforms and the smiles. Severe effects of malnutrition resulting in stunting. A 9 year old who was the size of a 6 year old. A 12 year old who looked like a 7 year old. Short stature with long-term effects.  Healthy looking on the outside but compromised for life due to malnutrition before the age of 5 years, a deficit that cannot be made up now. Girls who will deliver prematurely once they become women and get pregnant. Boys who will grow up with weakened physiques limiting them to vocations that they may not be given an opportunity to succeed in. The pictures here are of how children are affected. The tragedy behind the veil of presumed health.

We left feeling like we impacted lives. First aid training given and first aid kits left behind. A water filtration system left behind. Dental hygiene taught and toothbrushes left behind. Medications given and left behind. Children with illnesses identified who needed advance care sent to facilities who could help. Love and validation that they were children who deserved nothing less than that they were children who were treasured and cared for and cared about. All 462 of them.

Yes, we saw, played with, treated, cared about, and loved on 462 children. Today. What a day. A day of sadness behind our smiles knowing that the children were going to be stunted for the rest of their loves. A day of happiness for leaving something good behind. A day so out of the ordinary that it made us both smile and give pause. Bittersweet, but what a wonderful day all the same.

We praise God for the attentive care the Medical Mercy team provides for the children we serve. Although many children in India are physically stunted, we know that your sponsorship and the support you provide can ensure a child's success is not dependent on their physical stature. Thank you for all you do to help the children, and please continue to pray with us for the Medical Mercy team!

Reader Comments (2)

My guess was that you seen 263 and it was nearly double that! What an accomplished feeling you have mixed with exhaustion! Bless you for following his calling of "going". You are the hands and feet of Christ! Gob bless! Donna Thompson

October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna T

Thanks to our Almighty father for granting the medical mercy team journey mercies to India. God give the knowledge and wisdom to treat the young needy children

October 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlepeson ntari

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