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A Simple Smile

Posted on August 29, 2013 in General Ministry, Management, MMI, Patient Stories, Programs, Volunteering | 0 comments

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Andy is your normal kid, he likes to play with others, run laugh, and enjoy life. Andy’s life started out very different. He was shunned, his mother hid him from others in the village, and desperation engulfed her life. You see, Andy was born with a Cleft Lip and Palate.

In the western world, an issue like a Cleft Lip and Palate, is a normal occurrence that is addressed at birth. Left untreated, a child can die and be severely deformed. In Africa, where Andy was born, the resources to address this need, are limited if available at all. Many children born with this issue die from malnutrition. If they are able to survive, they are ostracized by others due to lack of understanding and because they look and talk funny. In some areas, people consider these kids cursed and they bury the child alive! All because of a very treatable issue that can be repaired very quickly.

Fortunately in Andy’s case, his mother heard of a MMI Team coming to her area and took him to be examined. Andy was scheduled for surgery and at the age of 2, was no longer an outcast and able to be a regular kid. A treatable situation that thanks the kindness of MMI Volunteers, was able to be addressed and now Andy is able to thrive.

Fast forward 6 years, and I had the pleasure to meet Andy, spend some time with him. We played a little football, though I have to say I could not compete. Andy is thriving and his life continues to evolve as God meant it to be. The MMI Ghana Team follows up with Andy and we are currently working to try and address some issues that his brother has related to polio.

MMI is about addressing the needs of the less fortunate, but we are also about building medical capacity in the areas we serve. We also don’t just come and leave, we are in this for the long run. We have staff on the ground that continues to work with communities and medical facilities to ensure that the resources invested are successful for the long term. Andy is now 8 years old, thriving and gets regular visits from our MMI Team. It’s not just about doing good work and then leaving, its about the total person and we are thrilled to follow kids like Andy as they are given a chance at a regular life. Praise God!