Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Let the Children Come

He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Mark 10: 13-16)
I know I share with many people this favorite quote from scripture. It's hard to put into words the difficulty of this post, not my usual. However, it is a reality we live in. Children, young people and the elderly die at an incredible rate here in our small village. Almost daily we have a funeral. You become kind of numb to the feeling of seeing or hearing of another needless death.

Mozambique has a population of around 24 million with 10 million being children. So, roughly 50% of the population is made up of children. Four million children die in the first four weeks after birth which rates us in the top 12 countries with the highest under-five mortality rate in the world.

Other than premature births, most deaths of children are caused by infectious diseases and, of course, malaria is the biggest killer claiming 46% between the ages of 1 and 4. Also, I believe many deaths back in the bush go unreported, so the numbers could be greater. Lack of fresh water and very poor medical facilities will continue this trend for many years to come making our mission more important to the children in the area. I see many large service organizations in the area, but in my 2½ years here I don’t see what they're doing. It will be a long slow process I know.

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