Do you remember the cleft lip/palate patient I blogged about a few months ago?
He is doing really well. His parents were thrilled with him. Six weeks ago they were encouraging another family with a cleft lip/palate to hang in there and love their child. I was amazed to see how they were handling the situation. And finally, the child was growing and so I changed the weekly appointment to once every two weeks.
About 4 weeks ago, the baby’s mother became ill. I advised them to take her to the hospital. Instead, the mother’s family came from upcountry and demanded to take her back upcountry with them. They were convinced that the baby, who they referred to as the ‘devil child’, caused the mother to fall ill. They wanted to take the baby to the village with them as well so that they could sacrifice him and give him back to the devils.
You can imagine how horrified I was on hearing this. Well, so was his father. His father acted quickly and refused to let them take the child. He came to us for safety. He was scared, worried and totally out of his depth.
Now, four weeks later, the father is still taking care of the child in a safe location. I see the child frequently and provide him with milk, diapers, soap and other things he needs. His father is still worried about the situation and feels he cannot continue like this for much longer. As much as he loves his son, he realizes he cannot stay in this location much longer, cannot take the child back to the family compound and also does not have an income to provide for him otherwise. Because of this, he asked us to find a home for the child, at least for now. Thankfully, it looks like we might have found temporary housing for him, until he undergoes surgery, which I am hoping will take place on the ship in May. Please pray as we finalize matters in the very near future: for a new home for baby and father, a job for father, a successful surgery in Guinea, and a bright future for this family.