It was incredible to celebrate the opening of our new Special-Needs Home in Guatemala several weeks ago. This new branch of Baby Rescue is meeting such an urgent need in a country where an estimated 14 percent of the people are disabled—and 20-30 percent of those are special-needs children.
The construction of this facility is an inspiration of its own. It was funded by David and Carol Loveland, in memory of their daughter Kelly who passed away from cancer in 2010. Amid the sobering loss of their daughter, David and Carol courageously reached out to invest in something that would honor Kelly. They wanted her legacy to live on in the life of others. And today, that legacy is stirring an incredible hope—the promise that some of the earth’s most helpless children will receive the care they so desperately need.
That promise became more real to me when I experienced one of the most unsettling cases of the consequences of poverty yet . . . a little boy named Jefferson. Jefferson’s mother brought him to the Special-Needs Center . . . and my heart froze when I saw him.
Hydrocephalus had swollen his head to three times its normal size, even more exaggerated in contrast to his limp, tiny body that had shrunken to leathery skin and bones. When I held him, I didn’t know how to feel. The gravity of the moment shocked me to the point of emotional and mental numbness.
In a developed country, this child would have received immediate care by trained emergency professionals, evaluated by some of the world’s brightest minds, and given advanced medical treatments. What a contrast from the realities of indigenous Guatemala.
Only later did I fully process what I had experienced cradling Jefferson’s delicate body. It made me realize just how critical the Special-Needs Center is for thousands of Guatemalans. Each child’s handicap heartbreakingly unique . . . each life equally precious.
Let Jefferson’s story speak for those like him who are in urgent need of rescue first and then specialized care. This extraordinary center means a whole new way of life for children with mental and physical disabilities!
Meeting Jefferson has made me more determined than ever to bring hope to suffering Guatemalan children and their families. And because of the vision of individuals like David and Carol Loveland, we are in the process of achieving that hope.
Will you join me?