The children and I were invited to a vision banquet luncheon yesterday at our church to hear our missionaries Pastor John and Lindsey Kargbo talk about the future of the school for the blind in Sierra Leone.
During the luncheon, my youngest asked me about a young man she saw in a picture without legs sitting in a wheelchair.
We were told, the young mans legs are useless because he contracted polio. Polio? I was blown away! A disease that the United States and other countries fought so hard to eradicate and can be wiped out by drops on a sugar cube given to school age children & it still is very prevalent in Sierra Leone.
Oh my, for all my education, I really felt pretty stupid! That is when I found out they don't even have vaccines in Sierra Leone, the people are so poor that even spending $5 for a hospital visit would take several months to pay off. My heart just broke. Lives can be saved and these countries leaders do nothing unless it glorifies themselves.
Then we heard about the orphans and how they become orphans and it is horrifying! The children's parents both mothers and fathers can barely feed the healthy children they have, so if they have a child that is born blind or contracts polio, they are turned out of the home to survive on their own. If they die, they die. Many of the orphans are from Muslim families who consider blindness a defect. Others are turned out because their families believe being blind means they are demon possessed.
Oy, I am really sheltered. I knew it was bad, but until Pastor John told the crowd that myself, another woman from our church and others have donated all the quilts that are being sent to Sierra Leone and he cannot wait to see their faces and send us pictures as these children have never ever had a blanket to their name and do not even know what a blanket is.
When you are struggling everyday for food to eat, to be able to survive, Pastor John stated, a blanket is not something you worry about or even care about. He said these blankets will bless the orphans because they will have something that belongs to them!
They also hope to build a small medical clinic on their property in the future to serve women and children.
Lastly, Pastor John stated...'I do not understand this thing called depression in the United States. We do not have depression in Sierra Leone. If you no longer want to be depressed he urged all of us to go to Sierra Leone or another country that is poor and volunteer and then come back to the United States. I promise, you will never be depressed again!'
We take so much for granted, I am so glad there are so many generous people out there who helped in the blanket making process and blessed others!