Life in rural Ethiopia is hard enough. In addition to the daily challenges of survival, some of our children are burdened with health conditions, and appropriate healthcare is neither readily accessible nor affordable.
Abi Sisay is a 12-year-old boy who lives with his mom and three siblings. Abi suffers from a painful eye condition that is unfortunately degenerative. On a recent visit to an eye specialist he was told that he needs special glasses as well as follow up visits with the eye specialist every two months.
We are thankful to report that in addition to the life-sustaining support he receives from his monthly sponsors, Abi has received a donation to purchase new glasses to help address his condition.
Thanks to his new glasses, Abi is ready to start the school year. When he is older he would like to become a doctor so that he can help others in the same way he has been helped.
In one day Yebsira Girma’s life changed forever. She just finished eating dinner with her family and then it happened. She had a grand mal seizure. Her mom, Yesunesh, didn’t know what to do. She had never seen a seizure before. Yebsira’s mom, brother, and sister were able to carry her to the clinic that is approximately one-half of a mile from her home. The doctor gave Yebsira medicine to stop her seizure. When she woke up and saw her mom’s worried face she started to cry. She was just an eleven year old girl who had no idea what happened to her. All she knew is she woke up to see her mother crying and praying over her.
Three years later, Yebsira is a very sweet, fun sixth-grader. Yebsira has been through many struggles these past three years. After her first grand mal seizure she went through many tests. The doctors were not able to find a cause of her seizures but they did find something. They found a heart condition. Yebsira has a hole in her heart that causes the blood to back up in her heart before it flows through her arteries. Other than making her tired, her heart condition does not cause her any problems right now so the doctors are only monitoring this condition for any change.
Yebsira’s mother was overwhelmed with not only one diagnosis for her young daughter, but two. Yesunesh is unable to work because she cares for her father who is very old and can not do anything for himself. Yesunesh moved her three small children into her parents’ home when her husband died ten years ago. Yesunesh kept asking God “how can I provide the care for Yebsira that she needs?”. Yesunesh’s situation may look bleak to some but she knows that God will not forsake her and her family. Yebsira’s life is precious and Yesunesh believes that God will provide for all of their needs.
Yebsira has had to have specialized care over the past three years. Her seizures were getting out of control and there seemed to be no end in sight. Yebsira wasn’t just having one seizure here or there, she was having as many as six in one day. The average number she would have in one day was four and then three or four days later she would have approximately four more seizures in the same day. The seizures were beginning to take a toll on her young body. She was having intense headaches, memory troubles, and muscle spasms.
Yebsira’s mother was desperate to find help for her daughter. Before her seizures started, Yebsira was admitted into the Blessing the Children (BCI) program in 2008. After her seizures started missionaries began to ask how they could help Yebsira and her family. Over the years, missionaries have helped to pay some of Yebsira’s medical and drug expenses. But even with all the help from the doctors and missionaries Yebsira’s condition started to fail. Yesunesh decided to step out in faith and take Yebsira to a specialist in Addis.
Yesunesh was given some money from Blessing the Children Canada (BCC) but she still didn’t have enough. She decided to borrow money from friends and family. The medical tests were very expensive and even though the doctors still were unable to find a cause for her seizures they did change her medicine. Yebsira was given the new medicine approximately three months ago and her life has been radically changed since then.
It has been three months since Yebsira has had a grand mal seizure. Yesunesh never gave up on her child or God. Even though she couldn’t afford it, she fought to find help for her child. Recently, Yebsira was down to her last pill and the family didn’t know where the next supply would come from but they never doubted God. After Yebsira took her last pill they got word that a long-term missionary in Debre Zeit had just sent Mussie (BCI’s Assistant Director) to Addis to pick up a new supply for her.
Yebsira is a wonderful girl that is strong in her faith. She is a fighter. She tries her best not to let her condition affect her quality of life. When asked how much school she has missed due to her condition she said that she always goes to school. Not only does she not want to miss school but she doesn’t want her other relatives to know about her condition.
Yebsira’s family are not believers in Jesus Christ and she doesn’t want them to know about her health issues because she doesn’t want them to doubt God. She is afraid that they will say “If your God heals people, why won’t He heal you?”. God may choose not to heal Yebsira but she is now able to tell her family that God is providing for her medical care when it looked impossible. Through some generous donors, Yebsira’s medical expenses have been paid ahead for the next year. She is now able to tell her relatives that her God does the impossible.
Yebsira is a determined girl that refuses to give up. She is very thankful that people have helped her and she has faith in God that he will continue to provide for her. She knows that even when the situation looks bleak, her God always shows up.
Yebsira & her mother, Yesunesh