Yep, that’s right, OSIF has a new “spirit child”. Baby Y is 6 months old. Baby Y was deemed a spirit child and came to OSIF’s attention recently through the relationship building Dave & Ellen have done with GN’s village and through Mama Laadi. He has attributes originally leading them to believe he may have Down syndrome. (Although, we have learned, Down syndrome in Africans is very rare.) Baby Y is from the same village as GN. Unfortunately, his family is under a different family unit and therefore, different elders. The father, although educated has washed his hands of his wife and child, because she is unwilling to “throw him away”. The father has already taken another wife from within the same family unit, and has stayed living in this family unit community. This means, within their community, Mom is abandoned to care for Baby Y on her own, watching as her husband takes on a new wife and they live right there in her community. We are not quite sure of the risk level, just yet. But, preliminary assessment has left Dave and Ellen with the sense they are not in “danger”, however this will be constantly monitored.
When Mom learned of GN’s story, it inspired hope, where hope had been lost. Oh, and this family is Muslim. (It is really unusual to be Muslim and follow indigenous beliefs…but, they are/have/do.) The current status…Baby Y has seen the neurosurgeon (GN’s doctor), however unlike GN; his prognosis is not nearly as positive. Baby Y has a genetic disorder where he only has half of a brain. Needless to say, Mom was devastated! When Dave & Ellen shared the news, I instantly was reminded - this young boy has a purpose. I felt the whisper of the Lord telling me – to share words of comfort, letting her know God does carry us through. Even in the dark times, even in the moments when we have lost hope, God has a plan and it is not always what we expect. But, today, we stand up tall knowing the extreme loss and grief of losing our daughter Violet was not for nothing. And, so Baby Y’s Mom has a beautiful boy to love and hold. I don’t underestimate the trials of having to care for him through his life with this major medical issue, or the grief of losing hope in his quality of life. However, Jesus heals, Jesus makes us all whole – even if in these bodies we can’t see or feel it. You can’t say he doesn’t have a purpose any more than we can say Violet’s short life didn’t, we know she did…and so we of course pray for healing and miracles but we also pray for God to reveal Baby Y’s purpose.
Dave & Ellen have gone to visit mom and Baby Y since their return from the neurosurgeon. They were overjoyed to see, despite the grief, both Mom and Baby Y were smiling and laughing. We don’t have an idea what will come next for this young baby boy, but we are standing in agreement the Lord has a plan and we are ready to help and participate for what is to come. A couple things to add to Baby Y’s story…he has an older brother, 10 years old; we’ll call him Brother A. Brother A has Hepatitis B. Dave & Ellen are working with an American doctor friend who used to be a missionary in Ghana to obtain accurate testing, to validate his condition. Once validated, steps can be taken to start rebuilding his strength. This young boy was #1 in his school class, and has now slipped down to #3. He is slowly declining, with increasing weakness. Determining the official cause and best treatment is crucial. As Dave & Ellen continue to plow relationships with parents of these children, it is becoming clear they are a packaged deal – the family, the village. J!!! Besides Brother A’s medical needs, Mom needs to find a way to support her family. Dave & Ellen are working options, as she is a skilled weaver and has capability of providing income with some initial help. Although OSIF may not be the funding mechanism for all needs in a family and village, we certainly will be praying and seeking relationships with other organizations that can help along the way. We are ready; we are ready to stand in the gap Lord. We have taken on Baby Y without a committed sponsor, believing God will provide. We just knew this baby from the same village as GN deserved the opportunity to be redeemed. We couldn’t turn our backs on his life. We couldn’t turn from what we have already seen. His life has value, and he deserves to have the opportunity to live and not be labeled “spirit child” with the risk and dangers associated with those labels.
Here is where we are…
We are currently supporting two children in Aninkroma, Isaac & Ama (these two are not related, they are from separate families). We provide their support for their education & basic needs (deodorant, toothbrushes, socks, shoes, clothes, school supplies, tuition to public school, etc.). Their family provides shelter (home) and food.
We have GN and Baby Y, spirit children. We provide recurring support for GN, $100/mo to cover his diapers, special food needs as he continues to improve, as well as various other necessities. In addition, we provide recurring medications, $60/mo for each (GN and Baby Y). The neurosurgeon has placed Baby Y on the same medication as GN to help try and “wake” his brain. The prayer and hope is this medication will begin to improve his condition and quality of life, more to come as he progresses.
It is our hope to take on more children, like Brother A and others out there waiting. The truth is there are more. Since the progress of GN, Mama Laadi has started a list of those with likely neurological issues where the child has been deemed a spirit child or a witch. The majority on the list suffer from seizures. Our oldest son has seizures. Praise God he hasn’t had one in a few years, but it is always on our minds – each time he is playing outside, sweating, and his face turns red…we worry he is overheating and he will have another seizure. Our son’s seizures are due to his body’s inability to control/maintain temperature. He is not evil, he is not a witch. These children on the list who experience seizures are treated as psych patients, and given psychiatric type medications. The community deems them as threats, evil spirit filled children or witches. WOW! They aren’t mentally ill or unstable. My son is not mentally ill. They are not evil. They are not witches. Oh gosh Lord! Sigh…the burden of knowing there are more waiting. The burden, as a mother…how can we not help them all? But, I am reminded…the face in front of us…one at a time. To all of you star throwers out there; we’d love to have you join us in making a difference – one by one – we can make a difference together! Let’s continue with Baby Y…
If you are interested in joining us…please check out our website www.onestepinfaith.org OR http://www.onestepinfaith.org/make-a-difference/give.
Curious what it costs to provide medical support care?
This doesn’t include any surgeries, vitamins, possible food supplements to improve the child’s nutrition or any other unique medical needs. For example, we are not yet certain of Brother A’s medical needs just yet. His will be different, as they are not neurological.
Currently our website offers the opportunity to provide one time donations, with information regarding sponsorship. The sponsorship program we have detailed is for children more like Isaac and Ama. Kevin (Vice Chair) & I will be providing more detailed sponsorship programs opportunities in the coming weeks. Until then, if you feel called to join us in the opportunity to help make a difference in the life of a child, in the life of these children, please visit our website and navigate to the GIVE page. Any and all support is greatly appreciated. So many nonprofits today tell you, no gift is too great or too small. I’m here to tell you…every $1, $5, $10, $100 gift is a HUGE blessing! It is absolutely true – no gift is too great or too small! If you find yourself called to help support either of these specific boys, or desire to help begin providing support for future children to be added to our programs, please let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org
One last thing…
Troy, Ellie (Troy’s mom) and I will be leaving to Ghana in a month. We have been given land. Yay! Typically “give” really means…”I’ll give you land, and you give me….X” But, that is not the heart of the man supporting us and our desire to (1) become part of the community in Aninkroma (the village where he is from) and (2) have them join us in rescuing and caring for the children we will be led to by God. We have met with friends of ours who used to live in Ghana as missionaries, looking for advice in how to dash (tip, way of showing thanks for the generosity) both the Chief of the village and the person we’ve grown in relationship with who is giving us the land. You see in Ghana, “giving” land is really unusual, helping other tribes also unusual. We want to honor them for helping us, joining us, including us…allowing us to be included in their community in order to make a difference in the life of children in Ghana. Our friends recommended iPADs or iPAD minis as both men are business men. If you know anyone who has contacts for helping us obtain these at a discount, donation, or otherwise, please let us know as soon as possible. We are hoping to finalize procuring these soon before our departure to Ghana. (Remember we are a 501c3 organization, these donations are tax deductible.)