Today was our last full day in Guatemala. And it was full.
It began with our trip out to a village to dedicate a well. This village is next to a river that dried up two years ago. Here’s a video to quickly recap this morning:
This is a photo of where the river used to be. Along the river banks is garbage from all the surrounding villages. The stench was incredible. There was even a large pig rummaging through. Imagine the quality of water they had here even when there WAS a river flowing through here.
Clean water and wells are important to these villages… but Rescuing Babies are what we at Leading and Loving It are choosing to focus on right now because in the beginning, when we asked World Help what they needed most from us, they said “Help us rescue babies.” Which leads me to the rest of our day…
I had the privilege of experiencing my very first baby rescue. They put 6 of us (Noel Yeatts, Lori Wilhite, Lisa Hughes, Mardia Lira, Kimberly Scott and myself) on a boat to cross the river. On the other side, we met two young mothers and their sick babies.
Jobelin (pictured above in my arms) is 7 months old. Her mother only 18. Though she weighed in at the hospital at 9 lbs. 12 oz., she’s barely the size of a one-month old. Her head was a bit swollen under her skull… someone mentioned she may need drainage. As I held her, walking quickly to the boat to cross back over, all I could think was “Don’t trip! Don’t trip!”
The other baby, Kevin, is 2.5 years old. His mother is only 20. On top of being sick and scared, he didn’t like being held by strangers (understandably). He cried the majority of the time. His mother was overwhelmed and afraid as well. We later found out though he’s 2.5, his only source of nourishment was his mothers breast milk. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t have access to enough food or if he just won’t eat.
We rushed them to the hospital and the organized chaos began. As I carried Jobelin into triage and put her on a bed, doctors and nurses swarmed in to begin taking vitals. Their little clothes their mothers had so carefully put them in (they knew we would be there and wanted to present their beautiful babies to us. And why wouldn’t they?) were quickly, yet carefully pulled off. They knew exactly what to do and were quick. The chaotic part was just hearing the babies crying. All we could do was pray. So we did.
After all was recorded and the initial chaos calmed, I saw Jobelin’s mother nursing quietly in an abandoned triage room. I asked Mardia if she would translate for me. And all I could say to Jobelin’s mother was this:
“I think you are extremely brave to choose this unknown journey to help your daughter get well. I know they will take care of you both the best they can here but I also know you must be afraid. Your choice wasn’t easy… and I want you to know your courage humbles me. You made the right choice on your daughters’ behalf.”
The smile she gave me with a quiet “gracias” will never be forgotten.
We got to be a part of two rescues yesterday. Our goal is to raise funds for 200 Baby Rescues by November. Mother Theresa said:
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”
200 is a big number, so don’t focus on that. Would you consider helping us rescue ONE?
Help us rescue ONE child.
CLICK HERE to find out how.
To read the previous days of our Baby Rescue Mission, please click on the links below:
Guatemala: The Dump
Guatemala: Baby Rescue Mission- Day 3
Guatemala: Baby Rescue Mission- Day 2
Guatemala: Baby Rescue Mission- Day 1