Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Risks children face in Chiaquelane

After nearly two months of living in the village of Chaiquelane here in Mozambique, I have seen many factors that put the children here at risk. 

The first issue is health.

I see so many children with open sores all over their bodies, on their heads, hands, legs and feet.  One four year old girl breaks my heart every time I see her.  She attends the preschool and comes to our afternoon program every day.  Her head is covered in open sores, and there are hundreds of flies that swarm around her.  Nearly every day I do my best to give basic medical aid by putting ointment on her sores.  However, the treatment that I administer to her is not enough- she needs real medical attention.  One of the staff here has repeatedly gone to her mother to convince her to be taken to the local clinic.

Another issue that children here face is spiritual darkness.  By spiritual darkness, I’m talking about witch craft and the influence it has on the community.  The baby in the picture below has a bracelet around his wrist with a button on it.  If you were to hear this baby cough, you would think a man was coughing who had smoked his whole life.  The baby needs medical attention- and in the eyes of the parents he did receive attention.  They took him to the local witch doctor, which put a healing spell on him and put a bracelet on him signifying that he had seen the witch and would be healed by demonic powers. We see many children that come to our program with those types of bracelets on, and we always talk about how Jesus is the only one with the power to heal us.

A third risk children face is malnourishment. Children who are malnourished have discolored hair and skin, like the girl in the picture below. They also tend to get sick, and have bloated stomachs due to the lack of nutrients in what they eat.  In the picture below the girl washing her hands looks as if she has orange hair.  Her hair color is an indicator of her being malnourished. 

The final issue that I want to describe is the inability for children to play and enjoy their childhood.  Many children are given the responsibility of a mother as young as 3 and 4 years of age.  They take care of babies, pump water from the local pump and walk miles with the water on their heads to bring it to their homes and cook food.  Only if there is extra money to pay school fees, they go to school. 

If it breaks your heart to read this post and see these pictures, know that it breaks my heart as well.  I work with these children on a daily basis and know them all by name.  God also knows these children by name- and knows every detail there is to know about these children.  If our hearts break seeing them and working with them, I can only imagine the compassion the Lord feels towards these children.  How does He intervene? How does he take care of these children? Through people like you and me. 

The missionaries here are praying that a children's worker will come to work with the children in this village full time, as well as train members of the community in children's ministry. They are praying for someone to make at least a 2 year commitment.  If God were to call me back to this ministry to work full time, I would love to come, but it is not what the Lord has for me right now.  

Please pray for the children here in Chiaquelane and for God to send workers into this field. 

"The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into His fields."  Luke 10:2 

1 comment:

Pablo E said...

Hey Keren it is always so cool to see the things that you are getting to do, Keep it up

Pablo E