Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday: Ghana Trip March 2013

About a month ago we received this email from our in-country staff member, Wisdom:

I came across this little baby girl and the mother when I decided to take a walk through the villages in Asikuma. I got to a house where I heard a baby crying and her mother too is disturb about the baby's situation. The Mother said Maa Efia's head started growing bigger and bigger after a few weeks when she was born and she has done everything she can to make her feel okay but to no avail. She said the doctor said it is curable but very very expensive and the earlier they do something about it the better, else her head continue to be bigger than imagine and at the same time the baby will be feeling pains. I told her about Kingdom Cares and it was like to her restoration of hope that was totally lost. Please Jake is there anything Kingdom Cares can do to help this little baby girl? My camera is bad but i manage to take a shoot.

Best Regards,
Since then Jake had been working to find a hospital that would treat Maa Efia (also known as Rubyato) in Ghana as well as determining the cost of the care. The diagnosis for Rubyato was hydrocephalus which is the result in her case of untreated meningitis. Through Nurse Betty at our medical clinic in Asikuma, we were able to find out that the surgery costs for her to receive a shunt would be $1500. The teaching hospital in Accra agreed to take her case given Kingdom Cares’ pledge of medical sponsorship.

Jake and the team got to visit 4 month old Rubyato today….

This picture just pains me. There is so much suffering that happens in Ghana simply from not having the ability to receive medical care due to the expense. Rubyato's surgery has now been scheduled for April 11th and she goes in for a CT scan on Monday.  Praise God! 

There is actually another little girl in the community suffering from the same thing. Her name is Makafur - she is 7 months old and her condition is even worse with her head twice as big as Ruby’s, and large sores on the side of her head where the fluid leaks out. Jake and the team visited her today as well but were unable to get a picture as she was feeding. Kingdom Cares is providing medical sponsorships for both of the girls so $3000 total. $2500 has been raised by one of Jake’s Kingdom Hoops players….she did a fundraiser at her school to raise the money to be given to Kingdom Cares for the surgeries. :)

Emefa was a little girl that our team happened upon last trip who was all alone, lethargic and sick.  She was taken to our medical clinic for care.  It was expected by our medical clinic staff that Emefa was HIV+. Kingdom Cares paid for her testing last trip, and the results came back a few weeks later that she was indeed positive. Emefa was taken to the hospital again today for more blood work in order to determine the right course of drug therapy for the severity of her case. Kingdom Cares International will provide a medical sponsorship for Emefa so she can receive the drug intervention that she needs.

Emefa will need more than drug intervention however. Interestingly, once our team got home after the last trip, we received an email from Wisdom, who had happened upon Emefa’s family not even knowing it. He was drawn to them for a different reason….here was his email:

Hi Jake,

I am very well by the Grace of He who suffered on the Cross of Calvary and He is interceding for me always. Everyone is also fine and we miss you guys. A couple of days ago I met this young boy named Yaw just in front of my house and I noticed he is deaf. I managed to go to his house to find out how his parents and community are handling such a person. They showed me his house and I realized he is staying with the Grandmother whom I guessed will be over 70 years of age. She told me Yaw lost his father when he was just a little boy so his mother was the one caring for him since then. Last year his mother got terribly sick and died too. Yaw is now left to his Grandmother and three of his little sisters. According to the Grandmother of Yaw, Yaw dropped out of school when things were becoming hard for them. Now the responsibilities of caring for these grandchildren is left to her and she herself is not physically strong to do that. I told her of Kingdom Cares and the help you have given to the countless number of people (both adult and children) in Asikuma. She said if God can touch you to help her out, she will be more than happy.

Best regards,

So, we had received that email from Wisdom, and when we saw the picture he sent with it, we realized that Emefa was one of Yaw’s little sisters. So, God had drawn us to this same family in two different instances. Jake and the team got to go and meet Emefa and Yaw’s grandmother today to talk through their situation and see how KCI can assist their family.


Through translation, Jake was able to find out that the family had tried to send Yaw to the government public school, but because of his bad behavior he got kicked out. Public schools in Ghana do not have the resources to care for special needs students, so Yaw likely got bored because he couldn’t hear, and therefore couldn't understand the teachings, and then started acting out. Now Yaw has nothing to do, is still bored, and gets into a lot of mischief around home. The grandmother told our group through a translator, “I’m going to die much sooner than I should because of all the trouble he’s putting us through.” Spoken like a true Grandma. :) Interestingly, one of Yaw’s distant relatives who was in town for a funeral overheard the group talking about the situation today. She mentioned that there is a boarding school for deaf children in the Volta region. This might be the answer for Yaw. Kingdom Cares International could raise the money needed to provide him an educational sponsorship at the school. This would also help Grandma out, as Yaw would actually go and live at the school. And Yaw would get the opportunity to have the education he needs with the personalized resources that he needs.

Please be praying for Emefa - for her long-term care. It is not uncommon in Ghana that once families find out their child is HIV+ for them to abandon them alone - literally to die. They are simply not educated about the disease, and are worried to touch the child and that the child will infect the others in the family. We are waiting to see how God leads this situation. The drug therapy for Emefa will be quite intensive and Grandma is going to need much assistance for that alone to ensure that Emefa takes the right medicine on the right days. I think that the best way to help Emefa right now is for us to be praying that God’s will be done in her life, that He would protect her and give discernment to those making decisions over her.

Our team is holding up well after their long bout of travel and are now getting submersed in the typical Ghanaian experience!
An uplifting thing that our team got to do today was to start dispersing sponsorship packages out to the children in our program. All of these kids (and more) are sponsored by families right here in central Iowa to go to school and have their basic needs met. The families put together little bags of goodies with clothes, shoes, coloring books, toys, picture books, American snacks/candy, Bibles, etc for 'their kids' all the way on the other side of the world! Love it!


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