Martina is a mother of two now. She lost her house last year in a fire and has been living where she can, sometimes in abandoned houses, sometimes with random people. She doesn't have a trade or a husband. However, she does like to drink. Too much. So much so that she often sells food to buy alcohol. In fact, that may be the reason her little boy was kicked out of the feeding program he was enrolled in. It couldn't possibly be because of the improvement in his health. Not with his orange hair, and huge, hard belly sticking out below his skinny ribs. He's definitely not healthy. He looks about 18 months, but she claims he's well over two. She also claims he can walk, but his legs shake as we bathe him, and he has to sit in the cold water. He's so hungry he eats a whole box of cookies, an orange and a plate of cabbage and rice.
She stopped by asking for food, but we recently learned what she does with her food and are reluctant to giver her any. But what about her baby? Somehow we have to find a way to make sure he gets fed. We set up a system we hope will work...daily rations of plumpynut at the Fulks and one meal a day. Nothing she can take home, nothing she can sell. She comes....once.
Apparently she is too busy.
"It's too far to walk each day" she claims. "I am busy planting right now...there's no way I can bring him every day. Why won't you give me food to take home?"
Fast forward a week...little boy is now sick with malaria. She takes him to the clinic. He's given medicine. He's given food. But it's too little too late. Sweet baby boy goes home where he will never hunger again...where he can walk, and even run...
And Martina is back. Sitting in my living room, crying. Is it real? These tears? Does she feel sadness at the loss of her baby boy? I choose to believe it is real, she does hurt. Even though she is still asking me for food, even through her tears.
Some days it feels so futile.
Some days I wonder where God is in all this.
Does it break his heart to see these children suffer?
I choose to believe he's here. I choose to believe it does break his heart. The consequences of sin are sometimes overwhelming. And even this breaks his heart. We are so in need of a Savior...so in need of his grace! Grace to bear the consequences, to live in this hurting world.
Please pray for Martina as she mourns the loss of her child. Even more, pray this loss will draw her to Christ and that we can help her with her problem with alcohol.
And pray for us...that Christ's love will overflow through us to bring hope to the hopeless and sight to the blind. Pray that we will have grace for this place and these people who are so in need of our Savior.
P.S. please check out our teammate, Misty's, blog for anther take on this story.