After a 3 hour drive heading North from Blantyre over rough, dirt roads, we finally arrived at a small, open air clinic in a rural village called Chikweo. We got out of the car, and roughly twenty moms were waiting to have their children screened for severe malnutrition by the Project Peanut Butter crew. We had 3 new children who met the criteria for severe malnutrition, 3 that were returning for continued treatment for severe malnutrition, and 3 that required additional emergency care for other illnesses and needed to be driven to the hospital immediately. One child was so ill that he couldn't lift his head and could only barely open his eyes - he was suffering from paralysis of some sort but he has never had the luxury of seeing a doctor...until today. All of us sat misty-eyed and broken-hearted, speechless and prayerful.
What was truly magical about today was that those 3 children who returned for treatment were actually getting better. Since the last time they came to clinic, their charts showed that they were gaining weight, growing, eating regularly, and almost eligible to graduate from the program. Beside the frightened and desperate moms whose children were headed for the hospital in critical condition sat these moms who were smiling and thankful as they saw their children become healthier over the course of 6 weeks of treatment.
I couldn't stop thinking about all of the times back home that I've exclaimed to my friends and spouse, "man, I'm starving to death" or "I'm so hungry I could die", knowing full well that in a moment's notice, I could have all of the food that my heart desired and I would probably never know real hunger. How utterly heart wrenching to see kids today, quite literally, starving to death, while realizing the absurd, over abundance that pads my life.
And so how does one contain and process this information? What are we suppose to DO with this knowledge? I don't know really, but I guess the only answer to the question of what we do, is just to DO justice. Not just to think about justice, or talk about justice, or feel good about justice. But DO justice. DO something - just like the folks at Project Peanut Butter. Give, go, serve, love, fight, struggle, care, DO. Do justice, do justice, do justice. And love kindness. And walk humbly. And maybe, just maybe, we'll see more smiling and thankful moms.
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