In the rural town of Shimogga, India we held a recent medical camp. One young man with a cleft lip captured our attention. At first, he would not look anyone in the eye. His eyes were on the ground. He did not smile.
He roamed around the camp, watching as others met with the doctor and were examined by the team. I took his picture, and finally I got a very small smile from him. When he and his father reached our team for the screening, his father could not answer questions about his health. He did not know the age of his son. He worked hard as a farmer and strived to provide food for all his children. But this young man, named Ganesh, lost his mother at a young age. The only one acting as an advocate was his grandfather, who would push him and encourage him to go to school.
Young Ganesh would go to school, but because of the mistreatment from the other children and even the teachers, he did not want to return to school. We tried to encourage him to pursue his studies, keep his appointment for the free craniofacial surgeries, and keep all the follow up appointments with our doctors. But I wondered about the commitment of Ganesh’s father.
Today we celebrate Philip’s 14th birthday. I really cannot imagine missing the yearly birthdays and the celebration of his life. I wonder how Ganesh’s life has been. A life of criticism instead of celebration? A life of despair instead of joy? A life of captivity instead of freedom? It reminds me of Isaiah 61 and what Jesus has come to do for us, and how He can use us for the Ganesh’s of this world.
Join us as we work together to transform the lives of our children and change their destiny forever.
Because every child matters!