Health Care Haves and Have Nots

The kids have been miserable of late - high fevers, chills, coughs, no appetites, and lots of crying. Adden is in the midst of Roseola and Selah just seems to have tons of congestion and an evening fever. Thankfully, Paul and I have dodged stuff thus far. Though it stinks to look in their cloudy, sick looking eyes and though it's not so much fun to have to deal with, I can't help but think how good we've got it.

We've got clean water to drink, affordable health care, 24 hour access to amazing medical professionals, and medicine to relieve their symptoms. If Adden didn't make a complete turnaround in an hour Saturday night, we would've landed in the ER. It would have been inconvenient, we would have had to wait a good while, and we would have been nervous for our little guy, but it would have been posh - clean facilities, 20 minute drive in our little Mazda 5 (or is it 6 or 7? I'm so bad with numbers!), and great doctors and nurses. (The staff at Children's is phenomenal.)

Contrast that with a mom who has a feverish, lethargic little one and no meds or clean water to give him, no one to call, and no access to transportation. My heart breaks for these women who carry their children miles upon miles to the nearest clinic in scorching heat, only to find out it's too late. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer here, but it happens all the time, every day. This is an injustice.

Paul sent me to a blog a while ago of a short-term medical doctor journalling her time in Haiti. She is now back in the states, but the archives of her days are still available at sleepydoctor.blogspot.com. She tells countless stories of poverty, suffering, terrible medical conditions, and an extreme lack of funding in her facility. Yet she also journals stories of hope, healing, and sacrifice that give promise to the country of Haiti.

If you have the means and even if you don't - please consider supporting medical missions somewhere in this world. Consider personally encouraging doctors that your church may support, going on a medical missions trip yourself, or giving to those who do this stuff everyday. Here is a skinny list of organizations to check out:

Real Hope for Haiti (realhopeforhaiti.org) : a faith based organization that is intentional in its efforts to improve the quality of life for the citizens of rural Haiti, while communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For $10 a month, you can treat 30 people for Malaria. For $20 a month, you can deworm 128 kids. For $40 a month, you can provide a monthly supply of formula for a child. Not too shabby.

Compassion International (www.compassion.com) : for $32 a month you can provide for a child's
education, health care, and nutrition, among other things. You will also allow a child to hear about Jesus, the One who came to bring hope to this world. This organization is the real deal. I reread at least 25 old letters last evening from our sponsored kids. Roberto, the oldest, has been a part of our family for 8 years now. Wow. He'll be graduating from the program soon!

World Vision (www.worldvision.com): a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision has this cool gift catalog, by the way, that enables you to make a donation in honor of someone. I personally can't think of a better gift! For $41, you can provide basic immunizations for one child. For $50, you can provide safe drinking water for a school. For $39,000, you can build or renovate a health clinic in Africa (okay, well this one is way out of our financial league, but it would be very, very cool!!!!!)

Hoops of Hope (www.hoopsofhope.org): a mission started by a teenage guy that provides care and hope to the 15 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS by encouraging people of all ages to participate and raise funds through annual free throw shooting marathons. We're praying that one of our teens will head one of these babies up. It would be an absolute blast and would raise money for an awesome cause!

Any other worthy organizations you know of? I'm curious to learn about more. Thanks!

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