Meet Charlie. His mother, Elicia, brought him into the Hand of Hope clinic in Elastik, Haiti, wrapped in blankets. She had walked for four hours in the cold, early-morning darkness, carrying Charlie in her arms. He was eight months old and had the brightest eyes and most beautiful smile. Only when the blankets fell away were we able to see that he was born without arms or legs.
Elicia brought Charlie to us not because he was ill, but because she had been forced to. The villagers in her town threatened to get rid of the baby if she didn’t. Babies like Charlie are viewed as cursed by a culture steeped in voodoo and witchcraft. In a desperate move to save Charlie’s life, Elicia made the heart-wrenching decision to bring him to us.
Charlie seemed blissfully unaware of his circumstances. He smiled and cooed at our nurses and doctors. His mother had kept him well fed and he was on target for all of his growth milestones.
Our resources were limited in what we could do to place Charlie in a safe environment. Eventually, with the help of our friends at Love a Child, we located an orphanage in Port-au-Prince specifically designed to take in handicapped children and locate American families interested in adopting special needs kids. Exactly one week after we first saw him, Charlie was in the safe care of the orphanage.
Today, Charlie is in the United States being fitted for prosthetic limbs. His new mother, Vanessa, is the founder of Angel Mission (the organization that arranged Charlie’s travel out of Haiti). She and her husband are purchasing land in Haiti to build an orphanage for children like Charlie. This will be his new home. Elicia is pleased with how things have turned out for Charlie. And when he’s back in Haiti with his new family, Elicia will be able to visit him. A happy ending for the Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries medical/dental outreach team!
On the day Charlie arrived at the clinic, our team saw more than 450 patients. Charlie’s story is just one of many we heard that day. The same value the Lord places on you and me, He places on millions of lost, forgotten, hurting people spread out over continents and cultures around the world. Helping them is not just our job. It is our passion and our service to the Lord.