Monday, August 13, 2007

Jeannette update--

Dear Family and Friends, Aug. 13, 2007
This is a ‘Jeannette’ update. This saga continues but I think that we are getting closer and closer to knowing the truth of the story.
Jeannette’s leg seems to be better. She is immobilized in a splint and she does not cry even when she is moved around to change her diaper or to pick her up. This is improvement.
Jeannette’s father told us when he brought her to us, that her mother had left Burkina for the Ivory Coast with another man and that he did not have anyone in the courtyard to care for Jeannette. Well, we found out this past week that this is not true. Jeannette’s mother is in Yako living in her parents’ courtyard, not far from the father’s courtyard. We called the mother to come to the orphanage and talk with us and then took her to Social Action so that the agent that we are working with there could hear the other side of this story.
Jeannette’s mother found out about a year ago that her husband was being unfaithful to her. She confronted him on this but he refused to admit it and to stop seeing the other woman. Around this same time, her husband’s mistress approached the mother accusing her of spreading a rumor that she was pregnant by Jeannette’s father. Jeannette was on her mother’s back at this time and the two women started fighting. The mother fell backwards onto Jeannette, breaking both of her legs and scratching and injuring her face.
Mother took Jeannette to the hospital but they did not notice that her legs were broken. She then went to the police to file a complaint against her husband and the mistress. The police noticed that at least one of Jeannette’s legs were broken and went out searching for the husband. They found him in town and forced him to return to the hospital with Jeannette. The doctor said that the couple needed to take Jeannette to Ouayaghuia to the hospital for x-rays. But, the father refused to take her saying that he did not have the means and that he wanted to treat her with traditional methods.
When the family returned to their courtyard, the chef of the family kicked Jeannette’s mother out of the courtyard saying that she was the cause of all of this trouble. He gave Jeannette to her grandmother to care for her.
Now since Jeannette’s mother came to the orphanage to talk with us and also went to Social Action, she has been kicked out of her parents’ courtyard! Social Action has agreed to talk with the chef of her family to ask for forgiveness and to try to help reconcile the family. At the same time, we are looking into a couple of centers in Ouaga who receive young women like this who have been excluded from their family courtyards.
Please pray for wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit for us and for Social Action. Jeannette’s mother does not want Jeannette to return to her father’s courtyard. She wants to care for her child. The best solution would be for her to remain in her family courtyard. But, if this is not possible please pray that we will be able to find a safe place for them in one of these special centers in Ouaga.

With love,
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma

Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 7, 2007 update

Dear Family and Friends, August 7, 2007
Greetings from Burkina!
Life is moving fast and furious pace here in Yako but the Lord is in the midst of all and we are resting in His grace and favor.
The rains have continued to be good this year. Our peanuts and beans are now small plants and our corn is about 2 feet high. Our children have been very diligently clearing the fields of weeds after each rain. They have also been diligently studying French and math so we are hopeful that the 2007-2008 school year will be much more successful than this past year.
I introduced Jeannette to you the last time that I wrote. Working with Jeannette’s family has been a great challenge. Her father has consistently lied to us and even now we are not sure that we really know the history of this child. This past week, we took Jeannette to the hospital because of pain in her leg. She would not move it on her own and whenever anyone touched her she cried. Well, an x-ray showed that Jeannette’s leg is broken. We called the father again to the orphanage and he admitted that he knew that the leg was broken but he did not tell us about it when he brought her to us. He said that he did not know how or when the break occurred.
Jeannette’s leg has been set and immobilized in a splint. Please pray that her little bones will completely and quickly heal. Please pray also that her father will understand his responsibility to his child and see that she is properly cared for when she leaves the orphanage.
Another little baby, Nemata, was hospitalized in Ouayighuia and was diagnosed to be HIV positive and to have Noma. This little one was also severely malnourished. We received a call this past week that Nemata had died. As hard as it sounds, it is the grace of the Lord that Nemata is no longer suffering in the hospital. We are working with Social Action to see that her mother and father are adequately instructed about AIDS so that they can get care for themselves and protect others.
This week we learned that 2 of our babies have scabies. Yikes! We have been treating them for 2 months through our local hospital but they were not getting better. As it turns out, they were not correctly diagnosed and they were receiving the wrong treatment. We took them yesterday to see Dr. Zala in Ouayighuia who immediately diagnosed them to have scabies and prescribed the correct treatment for them. The treatment is not complicated and tomorrow we will wash and boil all of the babies’ clothes, sheets, diapers, etc., and then bath the babies with the medicine. Dr. Zala has assured us that this will kill all of the parasites and set our babies free from their terrible itching.
Lots of rather difficult things to tell you about this time! But, we also have been enjoying several special gifts from the Lord. We have been blessed this summer with several short-term workers who have come to us through SIM and SIL, other mission organizations working in Burkina. Some of the girls have come for just 2 or 3 weeks and one has come for 5 weeks. These girls have cared for, played with, and loved on our babies and the babies have thrived under all of this attention.
We also have received 3 visitors from the St Louis area. Sarah Torretta was with us for 2 weeks. Sarah teaches French in a middle school in STL. Each day Sarah worked with our primary school children strengthening their French and reading skills and teaching them to tell time. Jenny Griebel and Heather Romine are pediatric nurses and have spent two weeks with us. They also have played with and cared for our babies as well as helped us with medical needs. As nurses coming from the sterile and hygienic climate of American hospitals they have been very quick to adjust and adapt to some of our difficult situations here. We are thankful to the Lord for each of these visitors and for all the help and gifts that they brought to our children.
Josie and Bea, two of our girls, have finished their nursing training and have returned to the orphanage. We are so proud of their accomplishments and they are very glad to be finished with this phase of their studies. Dr. Zala has consented for them to do a 1 to 2 month internship with him at his pediatric clinic in Ouayighuia. This will give the girls invaluable experience and exposure to the various tropical diseases that they will be dealing with here. Already after just one week to rest and to visit their families in the village, they have taken over the distribution of our medicine in the orphanage. They have started temperature and growth charts for each child and a separate record for the medical treatment for each child.
Well, I must close for now. Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs. May the Lord richly bless you. Please pray for the protection and favor of the Lord for each one of us and for each of our children.
Love and blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma