Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ribka's Mom

This is Ribka's mother. We didn't meet Ribka (approx. 12 yrs old) when we visited her home, but her mother and new baby sister were there. This was my last day visiting homes in Kore, and it was the hardest of them all. We visited with three families and this was our second of the day (I'll post pictures and tell stories of the others). 

Ribka's mother was very happy to have us in her mom and smiled a lot. I know that the psychology of these people is to always be pleased to have guests, and I cannot tell whether her smiles were forced or not. They seemed genuine to me. This woman is, however, in a desperate situation, as she has HIV and is breastfeeding her child (which is terribly dangerous for passing along the disease). The mother is also blind in one eye. Her husband left her when she was five months pregnant, and he took most of the family belongings. This is why ministries like Transformation Love exist. In addition to monthly support (food, clothing, education for children, church and Bible study), TL's next move is to try to figure out how to provide jobs for these women. This will be the essential task of the ministry over the coming years. 

Now, the poor baby was yellowish in color, and had already had two surgeries. We saw incisions in her head and on his belly. From the X-rays we saw, it looked as if there were a malformed (or, unformed) twin still existing inside of the baby's head and body. We saw what appeared to be a skull and stem of a neck. This little one has enough mass of tissue to make her head twice as large as a normal child, and she has a separate mass on her back. I don't know what will happen to this mother and child, but the older daughter will continue to be supported so she can get an education, and hopefully break the cycle of poverty.

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