At the end of a church service, a young mom came forward with a very sick little girl and asked the Pastor to pray for her. He lifted her up in his arms toward heaven and asked God to heal the little child. The mother then took her baby girl and ran out of the church sobbing.
I ran after her with a translator, still not knowing exactly what the problem was.
I caught up with her on the side of the dirt road and asked the young mom if she knew what was wrong with her daughter. She replied through her tears, “She has malaria.” I asked her if she had the money to get the necessary medicine to cure her. She said, “No, I don’t have any money to get the medicine so there is no hope for my baby girl.” I asked her if she knew how much the malaria treatment would cost. “Yes, Ma’am, $1.75.”
I was jolted into a new kind of reality that day and knew that enough was enough and something needed to be done to help women facing these kinds of situations. But how?
That afternoon, I sat under a tree on grass mats with a small group of women. Our time together was spent simply getting acquainted with each other and sharing the joys and challenges we face as women. I told the women my experience at church that morning with the desperate mama and her sick, baby girl.
As we talked, it became apparent that malaria was a deep concern for every one of these women. Just one small bite from an infected mosquito can quickly terminate a life. In fact, 4 of them had buried at least one infant or child for lack of a mosquito net or the meds necessary to counteract the deadly bite.
Unbelievable – the cost of a treated mosquito net-$5.00.
Anyone who is a mom of an infant or toddler can identify with the deep concern a momma feels when her child is sick. But few moms in America have stood at the graveside of their child for a lack of $5 for a mosquito net or $1.75 for medicine! It is heart-breaking, gut wrenching, unthinkable!
Our efforts were admittedly small. They were a mere drop in an endless sea of need. However, we acted immediately with what we saw. The lady at the church received the money she needed to get the medicine to save her baby’s life.
As for the women under the tree…we bought treated mosquito nets for all of them and for all their children. With rainy season just around the corner, we wanted these moms to have a little peace of mind knowing that their sweet little kids would be sleeping more securely under the safety of a treated mosquito net.
The best news was when we returned the following year and met with the women under the tree again. When we asked them about malaria deaths we learned that not a single Mom had lost a child that year! They were so thankful. It works!
Just $5 CAN save a life!
So, if you have little one to tuck into bed tonight… please remember these kids in Uganda in your prayers.
Falling asleep isn’t as safe for all the children of the world.
Part of Phase I of our Sister Acts launch in Uganda will include giving every family in our Pilot Program the mosquito nets they will need to help prevent malaria. Give so kids can live. While this story is still fresh on your mind…please consider making a donation now!
To join the Sister Acts movement and help us transform the lives of women and girls and their communities, click on the green donate button in the upper right corner today. Thank you!
(Story told by Director of Global Seed Planters, Diane Brask)