Time and time again, we see God at work meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and making a way where hope seemed lost. The story of 2-year-old Deborah is a living testimony to this.
Deborah was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and could not breastfeed as every liquid would pass from her mouth back through her nose."When I first saw Deborah, I was shocked because it was my first time seeing something like that. I didn't have hope that she would survive.", her mother, Mary, recounted.
One month after Deborah's birth, Mary stopped producing milk, and Deborah could only survive on bottle feeding. Consequently, she became extremely malnourished, and she and her family found themselves at the center of conversation in the village. "Some people laughed at me for bearing a child who looked so abnormal.", her mother shared. "This was very painful." Unsure of where to turn, they felt hopeless— But little did they know that God was already intervening on their behalf through Community Health volunteers who would share their story with our team.
After hearing Deborah's story, we immediately visited their home and enrolled her in the Infant Rescue Program (IRP) in May 2021. Through this ministry, she started receiving baby formula, hygiene supplies, and a specially designed feeding bottle to help improve her nutrition until she could receive surgery to repair her cleft.
Later that year, Deborah underwent the first of two successful surgeries at Beit Cure Hospital in Blantyre, the second surgery in May 2022.
Pictured: Baby Deborah before and after cleft surgery
". . .Those who used to laugh at us can now testify of God's glory."- Mary C.
Recently, our team visited Deborah and her family as they celebrated her second birthday. Her parents praised God and expressed their gratitude as they spoke with our team. "I am very happy now . . . and those who used to laugh at us can now testify to God's glory.", Mary said.
Deborah is now feeding on her own and continuing to grow healthy and strong. She loves to greet the team when they come to do their deliveries and is a great helper to her mom.
We are so thankful for God's provision and hand in her life!