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Jamaica Missions Trip, Day 2 Update

Day 2 in Jamaica

Our day started early today. After going to the primary and secondary schools this morning, we headed up into the mountains to Robin’s Nest Orphanage.  Katie and Vickie direct this orphanage and can care for up to 30 children currently.  They have 27 children in their care, ranging from age 11 months to 13 years.  Their monthly budget is about $20K with only about 20% coming from the Jamaican government. The rest of their budget comes from support abroad.

 

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Part of our team worked on the buildings (painting and doing other maintenance).

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The medical team had the opportunity to provide what the US would call ‘well child check ups’ for about 15 children and health screenings for the staff at the orphanage.

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Of the children we saw, two had irregular heart rates with signs of heart enlargement, and one had a heart murmur without any signs of enlargement.  The smallest and youngest of our patients today was a beautiful 11-month-old girl, who was struggling to grow (she weighed only 17lbs) and was not meeting her developmental milestones.

As these beautiful, precious children came through our clinic I realized the things I take for granted on a daily basis in my practice.  I could not just call a colleague and make a referral for a pediatric heart evaluation.  I could not just order a barrage of nutritional tests to determine if the baby’s inability to gain weight was due to diet and eating habits or a more serious metabolic issue.  And what if I had the ability to do all those things?  How would they pay for that?  The costs of these types of evaluations for these orphans will have to be provided by the orphanage.  These children have no family other than the staff and fellow orphans. Many of these children have been abandoned or abused and placed at the “Nest” for their own safety and protection.

No wonder our Lord said in Matthew 19:14:

“Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.”

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What an amazing day this has been. One of internal conflict, joy and a desire to do all I can with my training and gifts while realizing how inadequate I am. The children need so much more then I am able to give, but they were so very happy and grateful for the time we spent with them.  I have seen a glimpse of heaven today here in Jamaica.

by Suzanne Stabler