Dear Friends of Nazareth House Apostolate,
Thank you for your prayers, we have arrived safely back in the States. It is a long journey from Sierra Leone to Louisville, Kentucky. The whole return process started out in an automobile (James driving us to the heliport), then we took a helicopter from Freetown to Lungi. At Lungi we boarded a BMI flight to London Heathrow. A bus carted us from the airplane to the terminal, from there we took a United Airlines flight into Chicago. In Chicago we had to switch terminals so we jumped on the train to accomplish that. On a little dinky plane we flew into Louisville. Once in Louisville, Fr. Seraphim and I ended our journey but poor Emily still had to drive an hour to reach her final destination. From beginning to end, this trip involved all forms of motorized transportation - when you include our ferry crossing into Freetown. Planes, Trains and Automobiles...and ferries... Anyway, we are back and ready to get into the swing of life in America again.
One of the most heart wrenching situations that we dealt with in Sierra Leone was that of little Emmanuel.
Emmanuel came to our attention when he was brought to the church service for healing.
We all prayed for him.
At first look, Emily and I were puzzled by his malnutrician.
We couldn't figure out what was causing it until we lifted up his shirt and saw a belly full of worms... moving worms, taking up his whole intestines. You could actually see the worms wiggling under his skin.
He was close to death and we cannot be certain that we weren't too late. He needs prayers, lots of prayers.
Children shouldn't be dying of worms, but there is no treatment out there in Kabala or Freetown or other areas of Sierra Leone for these kids. That is, unless NHA brings it in - $3 per pill. One pill kills a case of pin worms, 6 pills kills the more severe hook and/or round worms. As far as I am concerned, its the best expenditure of $3 (or more) I can ever make.
I contacted my doctor, who told me there was not much hope, but the only thing we could do was to administer the worm pills that we had for 3-5 days (one in AM and one in PM) and pray.
Emily and I crushed the first tablet,
mixing it with water
and squeezed it into his tiny mouth.
At 18 months old, Emmanuel is less than 10 pounds.
Bit by bit we got it all into his mouth,
allowing him time in between to nurse so that it got into his system.
His mother is unreal, all this time she has been nursing
to keep her child alive.
Never giving up, never tiring out.
And yet, all the while, the worms continued to multiply.
As crushed worm pill covered his lips,
Emmanuel takes a break,
even cracks a smile at us,
while we continue to make sure nothing is lost and all of the pill gets in.
The second dose, we found an easier way. His mother was able to crush it on a spoon and shove it in... simple, nothing lost. As I keep saying, this mother is remarkable, full of strength and capability. I admire her so much!
Mako, in Kabala, has been keeping an intensive watch on this situation in my absence. I am getting regular reports and Emmanuel is now on his second phase of worm medication. Worms, millions of worms are dying and leaving his body.
We must now push the nourishment, so that Emmanuel is getting the benefits of the food he eats, now that the worms are not. We've put the mother on vitamins and have sent some Ensure drinks for Emmanuel. I will be sending vitamins and Ensure from the States to Emmanuel this week. Please pray that the shipment is not hindered by the Post Offices along the way.
Emmanuel has a lot of spunk, probably one of the reasons he has survived so far, along with his mother's constant attentiveness. His chances are still slim, but at least he has one.
The father and mother said they had spent lots of money taking him to many doctors, who did not know what Emmanuel's problem was nor could they prescribe him a cure. Because of you - the Nazareth House Apostolate Team - working together to better and save lives - Emmanuel has hope.
As we we finished administering the worm pill, Emmanuel reached his hand up to touch his mother's face.
The photo says it all ... May we always reach to touch the lives of those who need us. God bless you all.
Being absorbed into His mercy,