During our stay in Buchanan, Liberia, one thing that struck me was the variety of contrasts we saw.
Old and Young: At the Old Folks Home, we visited with dozens of aged people, several with physical handicaps. But a number of children also live there, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the elderly residents. Like their elders, these kids have no other family to care for them.
Here I am with Martha Gibson, the lady I told you about who cares for orphans at her home.
This is Martha’s daughter, also named Martha (known as “Martha Jr.”) She was clearing brush with a machete out behind the orphanage during our visit, and stopped to take a call on her cell phone.
New Life… or Not:
Possibly our most heart wrenching visit was to the Government Hospital in Buchanan. The hospital serves three counties, roughly a quarter million people. It is currently staffed by a team of dedicated nurses… and one doctor.
Here in the maternity ward we brought little hats (handmade and provided by sweet ladies in Texas) and prayed over the babies and their moms. I don’t know why this dear mother seemed so listless… maybe we white people just made her uneasy.
Woefully under-equipped, the staff can do little to help people. This woman’s preborn baby had died. In the US, she would have received immediate treatment. Sadly, all she could do was wait in the hospital to deliver spontaneously.
Liberia is a country of resourceful and intelligent people, but the nation has deep, urgent needs. I hope you’ll consider joining BESTWA in alleviating what suffering we can.
Thanks for reading,