Gloria & Cletus (pronounced Clay-toos) arrived with their son to the doorsteps of our missionaries, Dave & Ellen Bartlett, this past December. The head of their community had gone to the Soothsayer about their son, who deemed him a “spirit” child. The head of the community asked them to leave the child, go away for a few days, and when they return they will have done away with him. Christians, who love their son and knew this was wrong, went seeking help and advice. Someone in their town had heard about the two rescued children – Baby GN and Baby Y. They heard about the older white couple in Bolgatanga helping these children. They traveled quite a distance, until they arrived at their doorstep. The smile here is (besides the fact that – THESE TWO Baby GN and Baby Y already showed purpose by having their story save Baby J’s life) but OSIF had said we are not actively seeking more children to help, we need more sponsors. But, if a child comes knocking at the door, of course we won’t turn them away – God has a plan! Well, the smile…they were literally KNOCKING at their door! J God is AWESOME! I love it!
Baby J is almost 2 years old, has two clubbed feet, and an associated disorder of his thumbs folded in. I’ll tell you, Eric started calling him a little bird and it has stuck with all of us here. He is ABSOLUTELY precious!!! His deformity does not allow for him to walk. Although he is cognitively not like the other two babies, he still needs to be assessed to know what other issues he may have with learning. But, walking, that is the priority. Dave & Ellen helped to setup an official OSIF safe house, where the family is now living (although the idea is for them to have a safe place temporarily, while looking for work or means themselves).
Baby J has met with a surgeon in a town almost 2 hours away, and was scheduled for surgery last week, unfortunately no surgery. The doctor was scheduled to travel and be out of town as of Sunday. There were many emergencies prioritized before the non-emergency case, like Jordan's. The doctor was even performing emergency surgeries on Saturday, which is not common. Also, Dave/Ellen had learned, Gloria’s father had passed away a little while ago, and the family postponed the funeral until enough money was raised to have one, which is common in Ghana. The funeral was while they were at the hospital. So, after discussion with charge nurse, it was decided to leave the hospital and go to the funeral. Dave & Ellen traveled the couple hours to Bawku (hospital) to pick them up from the hospital and then traveled from there to their village for the funeral. The surgeon won't return until 24th, so the charge nurse at requested Baby J return the week prior to ensure he is in queue and prioritized for when the surgeon returns and begins non-emergency cases (after the emergency cases). Pray for speedy prioritization!! Pray for his surgery, his healing, and all that is to come.
There is a lot also going on with the family, and the isolation they feel being away from their home. Ghanaians are all about community. In America, it is normal to hold up in your home alone for several days and not communicate with family, neighbors, friends for days. But, in Ghana, they do everything together. They communicate, follow-up, fellowship, etc etc etc – together. Right now, they are living in a community with others, but they are not family. It is very lonely, and while Gloria and Baby J were at the hospital, Cletus was really missing his community! More info to come!