A lot of my favorite blogs have been participating in the Compassion International bloggers trip to the Philippines. If you have a few minutes (or more), it is very much worth your time to check it out. You might want to have some Kleenex handy too. This post is one of my favorites. And this one. Oh, and this one. They are just all amazing.
One thing that I learned from it is that Compassion has Child Survival Programs that focus on babies in utero up to age 3. They provide things like prenatal care, vaccinations, and nutritious food. And more than that, education on newborn care and child development, opportunites and materials for moms to play with their kids, and spiritual encouragement and teaching from a community of believers. How awesome is that?! It's like WIC and EIC and MOPS and more all wrapped into one amazingly needed package!
Check out this post about a program in the Philippines. She talks about how by far one of the most frequent prayer requests they heard while there was "I just want my child to be healthy." Of course we ask that same request here in the States when someone is expecting, but it is it really on the same level? We know that if we have a question or something goes wrong there are well trained doctors and nurses, an ambulance if needed, and even Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Not so in many places, where the prayer for a healthy baby is driven by an all consuming and very justified fear of losing that baby.
In some ways it is not comparable at all, but I know what it is like to cry out from the deepest part of myself for the life of my child. And that is with some of the most well-trained staff in the country attending to him 24 hours a day. I cannot even imagine what it is like for these mothers.
There are horrifying statistics like the fact 24,000 children under 5 die each day from preventable causes, most within the first few days of life. But do you know what gets me even more? That in some countries parents do not name their children until they are 5. Because it is easier that way if they die, which there is a good chance they will. And that it is common for babies to be given little face to face interaction and physical affection because: 1, their families are too busy trying just to survive; 2, they have never been told that babies need it; and 3, it makes it easier to say good-bye if they don't make it. That truly breaks my heart.
I am so excited to learn about these Child Survival Programs. And that you can sponser a Child Survival Center in the same way that you can sponser a child through Compassion International. Going to have to find room in the budget for this one.
(I know this post is more link filled than usual, but seriously at least check out this one: http://rescuebabiesnow.org/)