Sunday, May 29, 2016

Kenya Day 1 - the orphanage

On the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, a mother cries out. She is in a refugee camp, alone, afraid and pregnant. A baby cries out, weak and softly. She delivers a baby with a small head, a baby with microcephaly. She turns and looks at her baby and closes her eyes and weeps. As the baby is being attended to, she climbs from the cot that she just delivered on, and runs from the tent. The placenta is still in her. The baby is now abandoned. 

In another part of Kenya, a baby is born prematurely at 29 weeks, the mother is single, poor and homeless, and gives the baby up. Craniosynostosis or a condition where the baby’s sutures should be open allowing for the brain to grow, are fused. Surgery will be needed.

These two babies are cared for in an orphanage. Caring hands and loving hugs are what each of them are receiving. Medical care will be futile. The cost for corrective surgery will be prohibitive and the child with microcephaly will pass in a few weeks. 

You may have heard me say before that there is a difference between taking care of someone and caring about and caring for them. These two abandoned babies are receiving all three types of caring, the most important of the two, they are cared about and cared for. Little can be done as the funds needed are not there. This orphanage has a strong foundation of loving care givers but limited financial resources. And so these two babies will live a short life, but a life full of unconditional love and caring. 

We’ve started our medical mission and there is a reason why we went to this orphanage today. We prepared our hearts and our minds for the caring that we will give to those who come to us in our clinics starting tomorrow. And as for those two babies, I left with a sense of sadness knowing that there will be little that can be done, but joyful that there are people here who will give of themselves without question. It’s what they leave behind for those babies. Intentionally being present when present with kindness and love.

In all things give thanks,


(pictures taking with permission and credit to: Brandon Cunningham)