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Update On Relief Efforts In The Philippines

 

Thank you for your continued prayers for the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan at the end of last year. God has moved in powerful ways to address the needs of the beautiful Filipino communities we served, and you played a major role in the relief efforts.

When Jack Eans, our Vice President for International Child Ministries who works with our staff in the field, visited the areas hardest hit in the Philippines with our project staff a month after the typhoon struck Cebu Island, the need that stood out front and center is that of shelter. Home after home had been demolished.

They visited nearly 50 homes of One Child Matters children – all had been flattened and all their belongings ruined or exposed to the elements. In the weeks since the storm some had been able to begin a little reconstruction, tapping into government aid to get some metal sheets for roofs. But most had simply propped up salvaged pieces of their houses and put tarps over them. Others dispersed to sleep with other family, some even slept on the sand. Tents donated by Taiwan Red Cross mostly went to those with disabilities. There were no refugee centers with cots, blankets, food and water and other supplies. They were still very exposed to the elements, again living in makeshift shelters right beside the ruins of their homes.

We spoke to many children and parents about what they went through during the storm. Most talked about the incredible sound and blast of the wind – a deafening roar and whistle, then watching roofs raise and blow off, trees twisting and snapping, and running to neighboring homes when theirs fell down. They took shelter in the churches only to watch those roofs blow off.

There were miracles, though! First, no one got a scratch. With debris, coconuts, sheet metal flying and swirling and roofs and walls collapsing on top, somehow no one even got hurt. Second, the storm hit at low tide, meaning there was no storm surge. If it had hit at high tide the island and the coastal area of Daan Batayan would have been swamped. And third, local leaders did an amazing job at getting people to leave their homes for shelters. Countless would have been killed if they had stayed in the simple structures they called home.

The relief efforts

In the months since, much of the world has forgotten the remaining need of these already underserved communities, but we have not. The children continue to display good resilience, hope, and typical child-like reactions to all the hustle and bustle. Many were content to play in the rain or create obstacle courses out of the downed palm trees.

But the parents are worried. People are scrambling to rebuild their lives, burning the rubbish and continuing the clean-up. This is the time to respond and make a sustainable difference.

And you have responded! Your gifts to the CCF were immediately put into the relief efforts, providing food and shelter materials for the families of the children we served.

We estimated between 100-120 homes of One Child Matters children need to be rebuilt completely or have additional supplies provided to finish what they have started. The community staff in the Philippines continue to check on the families to determine the level of need and what the families themselves can contribute toward rebuilding.

The power of partnership

Using your gifts to the Children’s Crisis Fund, plus other donations from our incredible partners, we were able to help them begin to rebuild and do so well, together. The Garrisons, local missionaries who help us coordinate our work in the Philippines, were ready and able to meet the needs of the communities we have served thanks to a strong partnership with Convoy of Hope. The Garrisons had a shipping container full of enriched rice meals at the ready, plus another on its way.

Convoy of Hope helped us continue to get relief supplies to the areas that needed it most. A U.S. church partner stepped forward to help raise money to help with rebuilding efforts as you, our sponsors, continued to donate to the Children’s Crisis Fund. The board of One Child Matters voted to make a substantial donation toward rebuilding efforts, and Convoy of Hope stepped forward to match it!

We have been able to respond with your donations, plus $120,000 from One Child Matters and Convoy of Hope to begin rebuilding homes in the community.

Churches and sponsors continue to step up to donate funds, for which we are so grateful. As you can see in the photos below, the rebuilding efforts continue. But homes are being restored and rebuilt, and Jesus is being glorified in the process!

To make a donation toward our efforts in the Philippines, click here.

Hope Builds In Haiti

Today we pause to remember a terrible earthquake that shook Haiti to its core 4 years ago and killed thousands. Although the earthquake struck the capital, far from the northern areas One Child Matters serves, the entire country was affected. Refugees fled back north, where their familial roots may have been before they went to the city in search of work.

Ten months later, a new tragedy lurked. In the water. Cholera. Spread by unclean water and the poor sanitation practices endemic to Haiti, cholera preyed on those already struggling. It was, as they say, insult to injury. 

With your help, we responded with aid after the earthquake. Within a week, Medical Mercy was on the ground in Port-au-Prince, and returned again in March of 2010. Your donations to the Children’s Crisis Fund also allowed us to move quickly, putting preventative measures in place to keep cholera at bay.

In the four years since that January earthquake, Medical Mercy has been a consistent presence, training project staff, running clinics, and assessing the needs of the children at each project. As the latest team of volunteer nurses, doctors, and friends travel home, we offer our profound thanks – for the difference they’ve made for the children, and for the way they have trained our staff to offer the care these children need to succeed.

Dr. Beyda shares about how children in One Child Matters projects have the opportunity for a different perspective in life:

Let's talk about purpose, mission, and priorities. How different are those three things for us as compared to those who live in Haiti. Let me share how those would be defined if you and I were Haitians.

Purpose: to live another day.

Mission: to find the next meal.

Priorities: to fend for themselves individually.

The children we care for are learning differently what those categories mean: to purposely live a life with Christ, to serve others as a mission, to put God first as the priority. So even though they live in squalor and poverty, we trust that with what they learn and experience in One Child Matters’ programs they will see beyond the "have not" and relish the "have" of a life filled with grace and love, surrounded by a community of dedicated One Child Matters workers.

What it means for specific children:

I saw a young boy out of the corner of my eye.  A tall, clearly elderly lady, unkempt, frail and barely able to walk was with him. The boy came and sat in the chair in front of me with a stoic face, waiting to be examined. A 3 year old, who acted like he was years ahead of his age. Stoicism does that.

A few questions asked and I figured it out. His parents had abandoned him and his grandmother had taken him in. And so did One Child Matters. He is an abandoned child but sponsored, cared for by a frail and elderly woman who may not be here tomorrow. He is like many others we care for. I spent some time with him and treated his malnutrition and his chronic pneumonia. He never smiled. Not then. But when I took him in my lap, he cuddled close and showed a soft smile as he laid his head on my chest. For him, love has been hard to come by it seems.

This has been Haiti. The sun is setting as we sit on the bus that creeps along the road that is not a road and for a moment there is a pause in the conversation around all the experiences everyone is sharing from today. It as at that moment that it all came together for me. An abandoned 3-year-old child is given a chance to be loved and cherished by those who embrace him in the OCM project. And with clean water to drink, a toothbrush, a Band-Aid for his cuts, a teacher who now knows how to treat a burn, a place to wash his hands, and a medical program that came and set up a nutritional rescue program, preventative health exams and illness interventions left behind, this little 3-year-old has a chance. Finally.

On the times when life-changing medical intervention is possible:

I pose the question: what was our destination on this medical mission? What were our expectations? The answer was there for me this morning.

I was asked to look at an 11-year-old girl who had surgery several years ago to remove a superficial mass on her neck. She was left with nerve damage to her arm and accumulation of lymph that made her arm swell to twice its size. She had a chest x-ray taken a while back when her mother took her to see a doctor after wondering for many years why her arm looked like this after surgery. The chest x-ray showed 2 masses in her chest. No one bothered to tell the mother what the findings were at the time the x-rays were taken, nor did the doctor who did the original surgery tell the mother what the mass was that he took out. The mother and the child were abandoned by those who took an oath to heal and care.

This time it won’t happen. With the local doctors working with me, we examined the child, came up with a plan on what tests are needed now, what the next step in the care would be, sat with the mother and explained to her in detail what we thought was going on, and committed to always be there for them.

The destination and expectation was simple: to recognize those who come to us for help as persons worthy of dignity no matter their circumstances, and a commitment to relationship that is genuine. I believe we did that. We left behind sustainable drinking water, a place to wash their hands, education and supplies to treat wounds and other minor injuries, toothbrushes and dental education and medical care that will be there for as long as they need it. 

We finished up our last day of clinic, seeing 1400 children, building permanent 2 permanent “tippy taps” in each of the 11 projects we went to, did dental hygiene, brought water filtration systems in and taught first aid and left first aid kits in all the projects. But you know that already.

But what you may not know, is who really did this all. We had a US team of 27 members and a Haitian/DR team of 11 for at total of 38 people serving the 1400 children and the communities. We had 2 local physicians and 1 local dentist who were with us, working alongside, and who will stay and sustain the care we gave. 38 people who gave of their time to serve.

At One Child Matters, our very name suggests that our motivation is the worth of every child, that anyone can give and prove to one child that he or she matters. How that looks may vary for each person, but child sponsorship is one effective vehicle to change a child's life. Giving toward or volunteering with Medical Mercy is another. To give toward the unique ministry of Medical Mercy, click here.

We also use our Children's Crisis Fund to respond to needs of individual children as their needs are identified by the staff Medical Mercy has trained. When children need help beyond the regular support of sponsorship, we rely on the CCF, and you can make a donation here.

Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti, on this day that burdens of heart of many, and in the days yet to come. Thank you, as always, for your prayers and generous giving. Thank you for changing the lives of children in Haiti and beyond!

How The CCF Helps Us Respond In The Philippines

It’s been a week since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. Here’s what we’ve learned since then:

Our staff and partners in the Philippines are simply incredible.

So far, they’ve been able to confirm that the children in the projects affected are okay. And here’s what they’re doing to keep them that way – and how you can help!

First, a group of staff traveled from the main office in the Philippines to the northern area on Cebu Island that was harder hit. They had packed a bus full of supplies, but it was very slow going.

They had lists of the children in each community and had to set off on foot to try and track them down. This took so much fortitude and dedication, but our staff love the children just as much as we the sponsors do.

The needs are tremendous, but we are in it for the long-haul.

News reports continue to point out that the relief supplies aren’t making it to people on the
outskirts – but that’s where we already are. The communities know us and trust us, and because we are already committed to their health and well-being, we are uniquely positioned to help them through the arduous rebuilding process.

So far, donations to the Children’s Crisis Fund have gone to purchase food, water, and medicine; to transport those supplies (the devastation in the area meant we had to get creative, such as renting boats from less affected areas to get to the other islands where our projects are located); securing supplies like tarps for temporary shelters and buying generators to help the projects continue to operate plus fuel to keep them running.

In the three communities we serve that were hit hard, most of the homes were destroyed. Donations to the CCF will help us respond to the needs of your sponsored child's family as best we can, which is why continued donations are so important!

The CCF while help us respond to the children's families while also helping the projects continue to serve the children.

Each of the three projects suffered structural damage. The project at Daan Bantayan lost large portions of its roof, as did the project and church building at Masapascua.

The project that served the Ati tribal region, a remote community on another island, was in a simple building that was completely destroyed. The Ati community is already beginning to repair their homes, and we are committing to rebuild the project that provided such valuable help to the children there.

We’re meeting the pressing needs, anticipating what's next, and responding as best we can.

Yesterday, we learned that those you helped us minister to have become ministers themselves. Girls who graduated from the Philippines Child Rescue Home (many of whom were rescued out of exploitative or trafficking situations) volunteered to help relief efforts. They and the nurse from another One Child Matters project traveled north to Daan Bantanyan to put on a free medical clinic. The scrapes and cuts many children have received could easily become infected – a potentially life-threatening situation in this region where there is no treatment available.

This is the type of response you can help provide through the Children’s Crisis Fund. Please donate and help us continue to meet the needs in these three communities. One of our staff members offered this prayer request:

We need all the Lord’s strength. I still have no way to understand their depths of despair or anguish… it seems each hour we hear of another group still unreached and begging for help. My staff is emotionally exhausted already, it takes me back to years ago when I learned I have to leave them all in His hands and remember He carries us all. I also learned that many people were there to lift me up when I became too weary to even pray for myself.

Please continue to lift up the helpless, homeless and hungry. And then pray for those giving a helping hand!

Thank you for your donations and for all your prayers. Please share these requests and continue to lift up the people of the Philippines!

Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11)

Massive Storm Strikes Philippines

Another massive storm is barreling down on an area where One Child Matters' projects are located, and we are requesting your prayers for the children and staff in that area.

Typhoon Haiyan is equivalent to a category 5 hurricane, with winds over 150mph and heavy rains, and is considered the strongest storm seen this year. The areas our projects serve are expecting to be hit hard.

We will post updates as we are able -- the staff have been able to report that they have preemptively sent additional food and supplies to areas that may be in greatest need. Please be patient as we wait for updates -- disasters like this often make communication difficult.

When natural disasters and personal emergencies strike the children we serve, we rely on the Children's Crisis Fund to respond. A small donation can go a long way in helping a family get back on their feet. Please consider making a donation today to help us meet the tremendous needs created by storms such as Haiyan.

Thanks as always for your prayers. In the past we have asked for prayer and seen storms turn around -- such is the power of our God, the storm-stiller. Please join us in praying for protection and provision for these children and their families.

How Children Are Affected In Disasters

A little more than two weeks ago, we asked you to pray for the children in our care in a region called Coastal Orissa in northeast India as a super cyclone came ashore, devastating this impoverished area.

Cyclone Phailin’s force as it made landfall was comparable to Hurricane Katrina – and given the fact that most people lived in fishing villages in simple structures of thatch and tin, the scale of this disaster is vast.

We’ve received an update on the damage to the communities our projects serve. If you’d like to help us respond to the urgent needs in this area, please consider making a donation to the Children’s Crisis Fund. Here are a few of the ways the children have been affected in the wake of the storm:

  • In some areas, the storm surge was between 6 and 12 feet high. Many people took shelter in our schools during the storm, yet the buildings also sustained significant damage. Many of the buildings lost their roofs or windows, and classrooms were damaged by the winds and rains.
  • Families in this region tried to make a living by fishing; the storm not only destroyed their homes, it swept their fishing boats out to sea, leaving many without means to earn an income.
  • Food is scarce and expensive – the cost of staples like onions and potatoes has risen 600 percent. Most families are living off of dal (lentils) and rice. Currently the projects are feeding the children each day (even if school is not held) but there is not enough food to feed their parents and siblings, too.
  • Thankfully, the government is trucking in clean water twice a day, but it is not enough to sustain people. In some areas, our projects had wells, but many are now filled with sand or polluted with runoff and not suitable for drinking.
  • Sanitation methods were destroyed, putting people at increased risk for illnesses – whatever water that was left has stagnated; many doctors fear an outbreak of cholera.

This is why the Children's Crisis Fund (CCF) is so important. It enables us to respond quickly to meet the urgent needs of families who may have lost everything. We can also use the CCF to help projects repair damage, allowing ministry to the children to continue during a critical time.

As always, we will contact you if your sponsored child was directly affected by Phailin or by any other disaster. Your sponsorship, combined with measures like the Children's Crisis Fund, help meet the needs of your child who otherwise may be overlooked in times of disaster.

Your prayers for the children and their families in Costal Orissa are as valuable as ever. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and support for the children!

 

Prayer Request: Colorado

The Black Forest Fire is affecting the northeast side of Colorado Springs. (Photo taken June 11, by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

UPDATE (June 17, 2013):

Friends, we praise God for the progress in containing the Black Forest Fire. Although the fire has devastated the area, destroying more than 480 homes and burning nearly 15,000 acres, we have hope. At this writing it is 65% contained, and fire officials estimate it will be controlled and contained later this week.

We have seen time and again how prayers make all the difference. At the end of last week, Colorado Springs received several much-needed rain storms, giving firefighters a bit of an edge as they fought for people's homes.

Still, there were too many losses, including two deaths. We grieve with our city and friends as we look toward restoration and healing for this beautiful area of the city. Thank you for all of your prayers and support; please continue to pray for the families affected.

Our office is no longer under pre-evacuation status, and we are back at work for the children. Thank you for your patience and prayers!

 

ORIGINAL POST:

Dear friends - please pray for Colorado!

As you may know, there have already been several wildfires in Colorado this year.

On Tuesday, June 11th, a wildfire started in Black Forest on the northeast side of Colorado Springs, the city where One Child Matters is headquartered.  Due to extreme temperatures, drought, and high winds, this fire has quickly spread to more than 15,000 acres. 

More than 40,000 people have already been evacuated, and at last report more than 360 homes have been destroyed, the most in Colorado history.

Our offices are located directly west of these fires, in an area that is currently being evacuated as this devastating wildfire continues to move and grow.  As a result, we have evacuated and closed our offices to allow our staff to be with their families and make necessary preparations.
 
While we ask for your prayers for protection and peace for those displaced (including some of our staff members) we also want to assure you that ministry to the children we serve will not be affected in any way.
 
We praise God that our organization can operate remotely thanks to the contingency planning of our executive leadership team and the tireless efforts of our staff.  Our office is just a building – the ministry goes on, and we are steadfast in our efforts to bring hope, truth, life, love, and mercy to the children we serve all over the world.
 
We covet your prayers as we transition into our contingency work systems over the next couple of days.  Please be patient with us during this time, as some of our administrative support services will be disrupted temporarily. Here’s how we’re praying for the situation – please join us!

  • Pray for rain, cooler temperatures, and calm winds.
  • Pray for the safety and strength of the first responders as they fight this unpredictable fire.
  • Pray for those who have been displaced and may have lost their homes.
  • Pray for the One Child Matters family.
  • Pray that God will be glorified and accomplish His purposes in the midst of this tragedy.

We are so grateful for your continued friendship and support of the ministry of One Child Matters.  We are strengthened by your commitment and by the faithfulness of our Father, who is greater than any fire.

How You Are Fighting HIV/AIDS 

Did you know you are a fighter in the battle against HIV/AIDS? Here's how we -- because of your help -- are moving to address the needs of children in countries devastated by this disease.

Click to read more ...

What Our Staff Can Do

The care your sponsored child receives can impact so many areas of life. Dr. Beyda traveled to Ethiopia to look at the Medical Mercy's Health Care Worker program and what it means for children there:

Fruits of our labour. Plant a seed. Teach them to fish. All are familiar phrases that address doing something for someone in order to make them self sufficient and show their success, to give them an opportunity to succeed, and to put in place a plan that will grow. It is what we strive to do for those who are less fortunate than most, and who are willing, dedicated, motivated, and driven to make the best of what they have been given.

The Healthcare Worker (HCW) program I developed 7 years ago, is that seed, that teaching to "fish," that opportunity, to give those lay persons who are responsible for the welfare of our Mission of Mercy children, the knowledge and the tools to ensure that our children are healthy.

The intent of the HCW program is to ensure sustainability of healthcare needs of the children after our medical teams leave. The HCW becomes the one source for healthcare needs in their projects. There are now trained HCWs in Cambodia, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The question is, has the HCW program been successful? That's why I'm here in Ethiopia, to see if it has made a difference. I spent several hours the first day reviewing their knowledge base, given them some advanced lectures and quizzing them. No need for worries there. They were sharp, inquisitive, and motivated. I then went to the projects and did a medical standards assessment on the healthcare of the children. Here is a summary:

We have 11 projects in Ethiopia with about 3000 children that we care for. There are 9 HCWs here, having completed their training just over a year ago when we came here to do clinics. They worked with us for 5 days and were seeing patients on their own most of the time, making the right diagnosis and starting the right treatment.

In one year since they have been on their own, here's what I've found:

  1. Referrals to outside clinics are down by 55%
  2. Healthcare costs for the projects are also down by 50%
  3. The HCW is seeing on average 10 children a month
  4. 32 children were identified with potentially life threatening illness, treated and never hospitalized
  5. Children with chronic illness such as TB, malnutrition and anemia have been identified and are followed on a regular schedule of physical exams and treatment by the HCW
  6. Medical records for all children are now in the child's respective folder

Outcome measures that are positive, fruitful and successful. There is more that I've found in addition to what I've listed above, but I hope you see the effect of this HCW program. The One Child Matters kids are well cared for.

I leave for Kenya tomorrow to do the same there, except this time, I'll have my medical team with me. 18 US team members. We will have 5 days of clinics and the HCWs will work with us. Fruits of our labour. Planting a seed. Teaching them to fish. The children are better for it.

In all things give thanks,

David

Jesus' Example: Kneeling At Their Feet

As we reflect today on the actions of Jesus in his last hours, we consider the way we approach our own lives. Can Jesus' sacrifice also affect the way we approach sponsorship?

One sponsor shares how meeting even the simplest need during a mission trip to Kenya gave everything new meaning.

Click to read more ...

World Water Day: The Needs You Meet

Today is World Water Day – do you know what your commitment to changing the life of a child allows Mission of Mercy to do?

Because of your sponsorship, we can ensure your sponsored child has access to clean water sources at the project they attend.

Because of your faithfulness, our project staff can reinforce common hygiene practices with the children, who then go home and teach their families and communities, improving the health of all.

Most importantly, because of your prayers and support, we can introduce children to the source of living water, Jesus Christ, and give them access to the abundant life Jesus promises us throughout scripture.

Your contribution is so much larger than those three items reflect. But we want to take a moment to say THANK YOU for what you do on behalf of a child overlooked by many and overwhelmed by the lack he or she faces.

Thank you for providing the means (in more ways than one) to change the health, outlook, and spiritual life of a child.   

To learn more about how water affects the daily life of children in our programs, read this story. You can also click here for a reflection on how God uses water to minister to us.

Praise: Children OK In Mozambique

Fernando, a Mission of Mercy sponsored child, was inside his home when it collapsed but escaped without major injury.Friends, we are so thankful to tell you that the children and staff at our Xai-Xai program were not injured in Tropical Storm Dando.

We do know, however, that many of the children's homes were severely damaged. Many homes in Xai-Xai are built of reeds and thatch and could not withstand the wind and rain.

The lightweight nature of the materials was also a bit of a blessing for children like Fernando pictured at left, who was inside his home when it collapsed. Thankfully he escaped with little more than a few scratches.

As you can see, much needs to be done to help rebuild the Xai-Xai community. You can help by making a donation to the Children's Crisis Fund, which is available for children whose homes were destroyed. As we reported earlier, we are also raising funds to repair the roof of the Xai-Xai project's building (which also acts a church).

We appreciate your prayers and support for the residents of Xai-Xai. These difficult times also provide an opportunity for the love of Christ to become tangible for those who have so little. Thank you for all you do.  

Medical Mercy: Proving One Child Matters

A new update from the medical team in Orissa, India, who are seeing just why one child matters.

Expect the unexpected. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. It’s never what we think. And that is what the day was like. Not the flow of the clinic, nor the attitude of the team, or the dynamics of seeing another 300 patients today, but it was the patients.

Smaller in stature than yesterday, a little sicker, and their stories that were far from the norm. There were a lot of wonderful ones, children being seen, hugged, sung to and with, prayed with, and played with. That was the majority. The evidence of compassion and love for the children we saw was everywhere.

But like it or not, it is the occasional unexpected encounter or worst case scenario that puts the whole day into perspective. That things happened and whether we like it or not, we are faced with it to deal with. Three children stood out:

One child whose only complaint was that he was depressed. He lives in boarding house for children who are single or double orphans (one or both parents having died). He received news in the manner of a letter addressed to him that his father died recently.

Another child had with him a picture of his parents taken a while back. He was 10 years old. He showed me the picture and asked me if I had seen them or knew anything about them. He hadn’t seen them in 5 years. He woke up one day and they were both gone. He lived in the street until he found a home in the village that we were in. He was taken in by a kind family. I looked at the picture and couldn’t find the words to speak. I simply shook my head no. He shook his head as well as he silently cried. I hugged him and prayed with him. He left, the picture still clutched in his hand.

And the third child 6 years old. I asked her if I could take her picture and if I could show others to witness to her that she was as much a child to be valued and recognized by all. She was hesitant at first, but then said yes. Burned by falling into a pot of boiling water at the age of 3, she survived as you see her here. She told me that she won’t look in the mirror. She is the daughter of a fisherman and his wife, the lowest class of a caste system in this region. Poorer than poor.

She was not a One Child Matters sponsored child, but one of the children in the village who came to us for medical care. I realized that if she wasn’t embraced and surrounded by a loving community, she would be lost to the world. Never marrying, being ridiculed, and maybe even worse -- being taken advantage of, or even taking her own life later on.

One Child Matters has a vision and mission to care for those children who are less than fortunate, to prove that one child matters. This child is one of them. She is now a One Child Matters child, and sponsored. I am humbled to be able to be part of her life from now on.

In all things give thanks,

David

Medical Mercy In India: The Big Picture 


Another update from Dr. Beyda on Medical Mercy's first day of clinics in India:

Sometimes we’re focused on the big picture…and lose sight of the details.

The big picture: 300 patients today, day one of clinic. Due to the incredible pre-planning of the India support staff, we set in motion a medical clinic with both old and new members getting into the swing of things very quickly.

Dental hygiene, water filtration, first aid education on one tract, nutritional assessment in another. Medical exams in a third tract, and pharmacy dispensing meds in their tract. A total of 50 people making this happen. The US team, Indian support team, interpreters, teachers, and helpers all working together to see 300 children. That was the big picture.

Now focus. Stunting affects over 60 million children India. Stunting is when the child’s height does not match the age. Short, small, little growth, and nutritionally depleted. In this picture you see Jeremy on the right, a healthy 13-year-old US boy. The Indian boy next to him is also 13. He is one of 60 million children in India who are stunted. Can we help? Not in the sense of getting him to grow anymore, but we can simply assure him that despite his size, he is as valuable a member of the community as anybody else. We did that. He smiled, became animated and we focused. On him.

Polio is still prevalent in India despite the availability of vaccines. Poor compliance and a lack of awareness and education yields what we see here. A brace, old style, bulky, uncomfortable, worn for life. No physical therapy. She asks if there is a way to make her leg stronger. The hard answer is no. What we can do is make her life more comfortable by getting here a new brace, one that is light weight, comfortable and less obtrusive. We’re working on that.

Focus. We did alright for the first day. The big picture is clear. There are a lot of children here who need to be cared for. One Child Matters is doing that. It is the details of the picture, the areas of the picture that are difficult to see that Medical Mercy is focusing on. The individual child, their needs, and how they live as it relates to their health care.

We’ll stay focused the rest of the week and look closely at those who we come to serve. Our eyes will be strained as a result, but our hearts will be filled.

In all things give thanks,
David

Prayer Request: An Update from Honduras 

In the aftermath of the recent flooding in southern Honduras, information about our children and projects has slowly started to trickle in.

Click to read more ...

A Sponsor's Journal: Run Or Act?

Kenyans gather to view the fiery destruction caused by a broken fuel pipe in a Nairobi slum. Photo: Khalil Senois/Associated PressA Sponsor's Journal explores the options in responding to the needs of the world. Does poverty always lead to negative things? Or can we use it as a tool?

Click here to read more.

Continue Praying: Feed My Starving Children

Mission of Mercy is incredibly blessed to work with several passionate partners on the field, such as the staff of Children's Cup who help us minister to children in Swaziland and Mozambique.

Nothing encourages us more than when the body of Christ comes together to meet the needs of children. Even the smallest act, such as measuring basic food stuffs, can make a huge impact.

Yesterday we received some photos of our Children's Cup friends in Swaziland unpacking 1252 boxes of food from another partner, Feed My Starving Children.

The "Manna Packs" that Feed My Starving Children donates to organizations like Mission of Mercy are enriched with protein and nutrients which are essential for meeting the nutritional needs of children in our programs, especially in remote areas where food and transportation costs are so high.

In addition to Swaziland, we have used Feed My Starving Children rice packs in Haiti after the devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic.

Several shipments also went to Kenya in response to the severe drought and famine there. Over the course of a year and a half, Feed My Starving Children and Mission of Mercy made sure over 1 million meals made it to the mouths of hungry children in several areas around the globe.

What's amazing about all of these Kingdom connections is that several of our headquarters staff in Colorado Springs will volunteer to pack Feed My Starving Children meals at area churches this weekend. We are thrilled to take part in a program that we know saves lives!

We also want to ask for prayer for the continued needs in Kenya. The drought in the Horn of Africa continues to impact families across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya. We are coordinating with Feed My Starving Children to send another shipment to our projects in Kenya, and the logistics are always harried. Please pray that we can quickly cut through the bureaucracy and customs issues and get this critical food source to the children and families who need it most! 

If you'd like to help us ensure that our children in Kenya receive the nutrition they need, please consider donating to the Children's Crisis Fund. Thank you!

A Year Of Prayer And Action

The needs of Haiti may seem overwhelming, but we are strengthened when we see how God has worked through you and your prayers. Click the link below to get a better idea of all that we've done in Haiti, and don't miss the video message from Haiti at the end!

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Why We Fight

Yesterday Dr. Beyda met a boy who proves that chronic hunger has life-long consequences. More thoughts from the Medical Mercy team, and more reasons to fight to change the life of a child.

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Dispatch Haiti: Has Cholera Met Its Match?

Dr. Beyda gives us another update as he wraps up his emergency assessment trip in Haiti. What does he see when he steps outside our projects? Are all our efforts making a difference?

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Dispatch Haiti: An Ounce Of Prevention

Standing in the midst of a cholera treatment center, we received some unexpected encouragement from Doctors Without Borders today...

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