April 14, 2017
“And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday…”
— Isaiah 58:10
When a Haitian child’s hair turns red, it is the first sign of malnutrition. Their eyes and fingernails often show signs too. Many times, those “swollen bellies” are full of worms. Malnourished children are lifeless and without joy.
Malnutrition is a silent killer that develops slowly but becomes well established before the physical signs become apparent. When their hair turns red, and their bellies and eventually their bodies become bloated, that child is suffering from Kwashiorkor Malnutrition. And there is already severe physical damage to the child. Often the family thinks the baby’s plumpness shows that it is a healthy baby, they have no idea that there is a problem.
As we continue our Feeding Programs and Mobile Medical Clinics in the remote parts of Haiti, we see more malnutrition among the children and the elderly, too. Since Hurricane Matthew, there is a severe food shortage in Haiti, and it is only going to get worse. All the children of this one family are suffering from malnutrition in one form or another. They are also eating dirt to stop their stomachs from aching with hunger.
This young boy is Jackson whom we found during a Mobile Medical Clinic up in Savaan Pit. We were taping a program for our TV show, and his uncle brought this little boy to us. His stomach was swollen so badly due to Kwashiorkor Malnutrition. He begged me to “take him home,” and I did. We brought him back to our orphanage, and for a long time, he had to have his stomach drained nearly every day to remove the water.
It has been nearly three years since we brought Jackson to our Love A Child Orphanage, and we have seen tremendous improvement, but the long-term effects of Kwashiorkor Malnutrition are devastating. Jackson has developed severe kidney problems. He is also showing signs of glaucoma, has stunted growth, failing kidneys and unhealthy optic nerves. We are searching for a doctor and a hospital in the States that are willing to treat him without cost, and a family that can host him during his hospital visit. Please let us know as soon as possible. We are trying everything we can think of to get him the help he so desperately needs, but time is running out for him.
This little girl is from the village of Dennigon. She has severe malnutrition, has dry skin, a bloated belly, and dry, straw-like red hair. Hunger is Haiti’s biggest enemy of innocent children. Try going one day without any food at all, and you will feel “just some of what these children feel every single day of their lives.” Someone once said, “Let our hearts be broken with the things that break the heart of God…”
When these precious babies come to us during our Mobile Medical Clinics, we do everything that we can to get them the help they need to survive. When we find malnourished children, we refer them whenever possible to our Jesus Healing Center and Malnutrition Center, which is sponsored monthly by Joyce Meyer Ministries—Hand of Hope. Many of these poor people live too far from the clinic, so we give them baby formula if the mother is no longer nursing, food, and medication as needed.
These are just some of the things we see in Haiti each day. We see the poor, and we touch lives and these things often bring us to tears. Our daughter Julie was at our Malnutrition Center recently when she saw two little boys sitting on the ground on a piece of cardboard with no parents present. They had head fungus and were very malnourished. Julie asked them where their mother was and they said, “She couldn’t come because she had to work.” They had traveled HOURS on a tap-tap by themselves, all alone. Julie said she talked to them and with tears in her eyes, she gave them a hug and gave them money to get back home. They also received food from our Malnutrition Center to take home. Our hearts are constantly broken with the “cry of the poor.”
Our Malnutrition Center is our best chance for fighting starvation and malnutrition in Haiti. From the children who are referred from our Mobile Medical Clinics to the families that live sometimes many hours away and walk to the center, we are doing everything we can to help these families and their young babies survive the first five years and beyond, which is critical.
The Malnutrition Center was created to manage the horrible symptoms of malnutrition and to monitor the health of babies and toddlers. The center offers healthy food to struggling new mothers, but the staff also educates Haitian women on the best way to care for their newborn infants. The staff also teaches them about the proper nutritious food available to them, and track the health of each child over the years, always following up to help any family that needs guidance.
The babies and young children are weighed and measured each week to make sure the mother stays on track to ensure healthy children.
The child’s height is measured to see the overall growth of the child, as well as measuring other areas of the body to get a comparison to make sure that they are in the same percentile of similar aged children.
When the families leave the Malnutrition Center, they are all given a week’s worth of nutritious food as part of the Food Program for poor mothers and children. It also ensures that they will continue to return each week to follow up on their child’s overall health, where we can monitor the babies week-to-week. This program is so important to ensure healthy children for the future of Haiti, one baby at a time!
People often ask us, “What is your greatest burden in Haiti? What drives you each day?” It’s all about “feeding the hungry children.” Each month, we receive a minimum of eight 40-foot shipping containers filled with food to distribute to villages throughout Haiti. For eight containers, it costs us $80,000, or $10,000 per container. We have committed support for two of these containers; one from Joyce Meyer Ministries and one from Pastor Jentezen Franklin. We are asking you to pray that God will meet this need every month.
Please prayerfully consider becoming a partner, as the need is far greater today than ever before.
Your support will save a life!