When we came to the hut we saw a very malnourished child laying in front of the door. I scooped the baby up. It was so sad. The baby was not a baby but over 4 years old and the size of our two year old only much skinnier. My heart sank. We learned her name was Achia and she seemed to love that I picked her up. Why was she so neglected? A crowd gathered to watch the white people with the sick child. I asked for water and Achia drank it excitedly. I was annoyed there were lots of people around us why wasn't anyone giving this child water or food? The mother said there wasn't money for food. Achia was so dirty. She sucks on her hand and drowls so the cow dung stuck to her shirt and stunk. I asked for another shirt but she didn't have one. I washed Achia up a little but she didn't seem to like that too much (maybe cold). The mother said Achia has been sick for 5 months!
I didn't know what to do. I wanted to rescue this child but do what? We prayed for her and told the mother we would come back with someone to help figure out the story and a plan.
I knew Lydia was upset by it all, not in a bad way but loving way. She looked for clothes for Achia when we got home while I made some phone calls and Josh looked for Charles to help us.
When we went back with Charles I had way more compassion for the mother. I knew she seemed desperate for help but I was so upset about Achia being so neglected. We learned the parents are Karamojong and the husband herds animals for people. He was out herding. She was home with her sickly 4 year old, a 2ish year old, and a baby. This mother is overwhelmed! We sat in the dark while the mother cooked supper. Achia was sitting up when we arrived so that is good. Charles took a look at her and then I held her. The mother had taken off the dirty shirt and I brought some clothes and put them on her. We also took the one small packet of formula I had and Charles began giving it to her slowly. Achia loved it and drank very happily. She is so thirsty. We made her do it slowly hoping she would not vomit. Her mother said she will only eat bean, use to vomit but not anymore, sometimes diarrhea and only urinates once a day. She said Achia cries at night and sometimes hits her head on the ground. The mother also thinks she can't see. We told the mother again and again Achia needs water. Achia did drink all the milk while we were there and kept it down - yeah! She loves sucking on her hands. It is clear she is suffering and her brain has been starved.
I wanted to take her home for the night to give the mother relief and hold Achia but I trusted Charles and Josh to lead the way in what to do. We made a plan with the mother to take them to Soroti in the morning and go to YWAM's Amecet (a for children like this to get well). If she doesn't remain there until she is well they will be able to direct us to help for Achia and her family.
Please pray for Achia. I already love her. She needs help if she is going to survive. Pray for this mother who is, I believe, trying to do her best and loves her children. They are truly in need. They don't know the Lord and it appears satan is doing a his best to destroy them. I Achia is God's child and He is her healer.