It seems like just yesterday I was staring into Stefani’s lifeless eyes, pleading with God to spare her.
I first met Stefani and her young, precious mother Chélie on February 20th. Chélie is only 18-years-old, she brought her weak and frail child to the Danita’s Children Medical Center in a desperate attempt to get help. It only took a few moments after their arrival, for every one in the medical center to realize that this baby was in need of immediate care. Stefani was nine-months-old and weighed a mere eight pounds.
Patches of her fine hair had fallen out. Her once smooth and beautiful chocolate-colored skin was flaking off, leaving behind large white spots, and her tiny fingernails were near extinction.
Stefani spent three days with a feeding tube inserted into her mouth, dripping fortified formula into her stomach. Each of the missionaries, including myself sat on pins and needles as we calculated her most minute progression.
After a week of little to no improvement – it was clear that drastic action was to be taken. Tucked away on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, sits a miracle center. The Real Hope for Haiti malnutrition clinic; offers severely malnourished children a chance to survive – and not only survive, but truly thrive.
On March 1st, I boarded a bus at six o’clock in the morning for the eight-hour trek to the clinic. Feeling empowered and responsible to protect Chélie and Stefani as two precious souls entrusted into my care.
We arrived at the doorstep of The Real Hope for Haiti after an exhausting and emotionally draining trip. I was hot, hungry and incredibly tired, but all of those needs were secondary to my concern for the safety and comfort of two people who were beginning to feel as close as family to me.
The nurses were considerate and gentle. Patient to allow Chélie and I the time we needed to say goodbye and to prepare her for a long few months of time away from everyone she knows. This duration of the program was necessary for Stefani to receive the intensive care she so desperately needed.
My eyes flooded with tears as I left them behind. But I knew everything would be OK.
For the next few months, anyone who knew me knew about my heart and passion for Baby Stefani. I cried bitter tears and prayed diligent prayers that Stefani’s body would be restored to full health and this miraculous touch of healing would draw both the hearts of she and her parents to saving knowledge of the love of Christ.
Today, my prayers were answered.
Chélie and Stefani walked into my arms more beautiful than ever before. Stefani has met her goal weight of 15lbs and Chélie looked gorgeous with a new dress and stylish hairdo.
Stefani smiled at her mother and father, the most precious and impeccable smile. However, nothing melted my heart more or brought bigger tears to my eyes than the moment she laid her head on my chest.
Chélie hugged me again and again, repeating, "mési, anpil" - meaning "thank you, so much." And the tears continued to flow.
Here in my arms was a living miracle. A child who should have been a statistic; a life claimed by the clutches and oppression of poverty and malnutrition. But this is not Stefani’s story.
Stefani’s story is one of victory. One of triumph and the manifestation of the miraculous healing touch of Christ.
Her story is not one of tragedy and despair. She is a tiny miracle and her life is a most momentous victory.
I stand humbled and beyond honored to have been apart of her story; an instrument of grace that was used in the influence of her salvation and provision.
Stefani is why I have chosen to pack my bags and move to a small village on the southeast coast of Haiti next Thursday.
She is the reason that I am pledging the next six months of my life to the rescue of more children living in severe conditions just as she once was. Children who are offered no hope and no chance of survival – I want to be their voice. I want to be their champion.
This is the largest leap of faith I’ve ever had to take in my life. I am joining the ranks of the radical missionaries living on simply the hope and belief in the goodness and provision of God.
I heard the call. My answer was yes.
As my friends, families and readers, would you stand firm with me? Stand firm in prayer. Stand firm in encouragement, and stand firm in financial support, in order for me to fulfill the assignment, which has been placed before me.
If you feel led to support me along this journey, please click “donate” below to give through my paypal account.
Thank you for believing with me. Thank you for your love, prayers and belief in me.
May you be so richly blessed. May you chase after the great adventures of your heart and never be afraid to take the leap and say ‘yes’.
"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" Matthew 16: 24-26 ESV