From: “Brenda Lange”
Date: November 13, 2011 5:29:46 AM CST
Subject: Blog, Nov. 13th, 2011
DIXON, 4.4 lbs (2kg) at 4 months and fighting for his life.
On Thursday, a malnourished mother from Ntete village, 6 miles away, came to beg help for her baby.
The cloth bundle she held in her arms was nothing but a skeleton with big black eyes.
When Little Dixon looked at me, I knew we had a real fighter who stood a chance if we acted fast.
Most babies who had suffered starvation as he had, would not have been alert, much less responsive enough to eat.
I grabbed a baby bottle and Dixon sucked with glee.
He then gave me a HUGE CROOKED SMILE that made all of us laugh.
Eric was there with camera in hand, catching his expressions of contentment as this was the first full tummy he’d had in a long time.
Not a peep did he utter, he just kept smiling and looking around.
I found his mental status amazing, considering the malnourished state of his little body.
One phone call to the Balama Doctor, and Dixon was given emergency admittance to the children’s ward for 30 days of intense nutritional help.
But the mother said she couldn’t stay in the hospital with him for 30 days as she had 4 other children at her mud hut in Ntete who had no food.
So within an hour, BBB and staff organized a baby sitter to stay with Dixon in the hospital, sacked up a week’s worth of food to sustain the 4 older children , and drove this mother to Ntete so she could find a neighbour to watch over her family for the next month.
Dixon’s situation is not an isolated case. Many infants perish because the mother’s breast milk dries up from malnutrition.
They feel hopeless as there is no government agency that gives this type of help.
Someone told her about us, so she walked the 6 miles hoping to save her baby.
This family was surviving on tree leaves and cassava root, the same food that caused malnutrition in Jacinto.
Casava fills the belly and stops hunger pains, but it is an empty carbohydrate with absolutely NO nutritional value.
Most of Africa lives on it as this plant is very tough, surviving droughts, floods, and high winds. It’s leaves are very nutritious and tasty.
But the root, which everyone dries and eats as their “starvation food”, will lead an adult to the grave in 3–4 months if that is all they have to eat.
Dixon has a long road back to health, but he is one tough little boy and holding his own after 3 days in hospital.
I’ll keep you posted.
JACINTO ON THE MEND
Jacinto walked with steady, strong steps to our church today (he lives 200 yards away).
This is a great improvement over last week when he could hardly walk at all.
The food and vitamins are giving him strength, and he proudly showed me his new clothes.
A special gift was given this week to provide Jacinto with a special high protein diet that will speed his recovery.
He lifted his hands in church and praised the Lord today with all the rest of us.
We received a new family into the church who walked about 10 miles to get there.
Pastor Tomas explained the gospel to them this week, and they asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior today.
AN ACT OF KINDNESS BRINGS A WOMAN TO CHRIST
The wife of the man who dumped the alcohol several weeks ago was adamant that she wanted nothing to do with Jesus.
Last week, her husband begged me to come to his house to pray for his sick baby.
The mother had taken the baby to the witchdoctor repeatedly, so I expected trouble.
But she’d left the baby with her daughter, and gone to the mill to grind her corn.
We prayed for the baby and was just finishing up when she walked up.
She said nothing, just glared at me.
The baby has mild Hydrocephalus. (an inability to drain excess brain fluids from the outer lining of the brain, so the head enlarges)
They’d taken the baby to several hospitals, but no one could do anything about it since brain surgery is not possible here.
After our visit, the swelling of the baby’s head shows no outward signs of diminishing, but the baby is better.
Seeing her baby better after our prayer touched this woman’s heart and today she gave her life to Jesus.
We’ll keep you informed of the baby’s progress.
FIRST LADY OF MOZAMBIQUE TO VISIT OUR ORPHANS IN MELUCO DISTRICT THIS WEEK
Next weekend, there may be a delay in getting my weekly blog to you, as I will be in Meluco from Friday to Sunday. (6 hour drive northeast of Balama)
The President’s wife wants to visit our program there and has requested my attendance.
So expect to hear from me as soon as I return.
Keep us in your prayers as we will be tenting in Meluco. The mosquitos are hungry and I’m going armed with DEET!
Bush Bunny Brenda and the Balama Staff