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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Don't Give Up On Children

Sometimes it is easy to turn our heads when we see a child in need.....when we see a child who needs more help than we, perhaps want to offer.  When I first saw Lawrence, he was a little boy with a crossed eye, naked, and very dirty.  I rode past him every day, not thinking about what is really going on in his little life.  Then one day, as I rode comfortably passed Lawrence, the Lord spoke to me.  It wasn't an audible voice, but I knew He was getting my attention.  I was suddenly drawn deeper into this little boy.  I really saw him for the first time that day.  I became burdened to know more, not because I am such a caring person, but because God cares, because God loves Lawrence He wanted me to love him too.  
Most of you know that over the past year we have been working with doctors to find out about Lawrence, to learn what his needs are, physically, emotionally, mentally.  Test after test was done on little Lawrence and they all came back saying that there was nothing neurologically wrong with him that would prevent him from eventually, with the help of therapists, to learn to eat and talk.
We also found out that his eye could be corrected with surgery.  What good news! What a blessing!
The day in February of this year that I left Uganda to come back to the U.S., our ministry liaison in medical and health, my dear friend Henry Mello travelled 6 hours to Mbarara with Lawrence and his grandmother for Lawrence to have eye surgery.  We were thrilled that this was going to become a reality for Lawrence.  He was taking a step forward in his journey for health.  
The other day I found out from Henry that the eye doctor did not do the surgery because Lawrence
is "mentally retarded".  Now, this doctor had never met Lawrence before, and did not know any of Lawrence's history.  How easy it was to label him as mentally retarded and then not provide the needed surgery.  This made me sad and angry.  First of all, who said that Lawrence is mentally retarded?  He is a 5 year old boy who had a fever from malaria at age 1 that left him unable to eat or talk, and then had a grandmother who lacks the knowledge or resources to find help for him from the start.  He had 4 years of no therapy, no teaching, no medical assistance, no one to help him or his grandmother get help.  That does not make a child mentally retarded.  And even if he were mentally retarded, does that make him less deserving of something in his life that will improve it?  God did not place Lawrence before us for him to be labeled, given up on, and then forgotten.  God loves Lawrence and has a wonderful plan for his life.  He is already responding to therapy, our ministry liaison is working on providing nutritious foods for Lawrence as well.  
Lawrence is a beautiful, precious child of God.  I will never give up on him.  I am convinced that God brought him before us to help him.  That is what we will do.  I serve a God of miracles, a God who loves His children.  Who knows.....Lawrence could one day become a great preacher!!
I want to be there to hear him preach.....

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