If you are born early, or small, in South Sudan, you are likely to die. The odds are not good as the care is simply not available. Breathing difficulties, feeding difficulties, inability to maintain a normal temperature, and a greater risk of infection make the chances of surviving very small.
Yet God loves every baby, no matter how small or how early they enter the world. And we want to be His hands and feet, for these precious little treasures who need the extra help, as they get started on this earth.
We are in the process of building a special care nursery for pre-term infants and babies that need extra care. But during one short fortnight, in late September 2013, we suddenly had 8 pre-term infants to care for. Some were born at His House of Hope, some were born in the bush, some were born en-route – their birth weights ranged from 770-1500 grams with gestational ages estimated at 28-33 weeks. These precious little lives needed extra special love and care.
Two died ‘expectedly’, born too early for what we can routinely manage; two died ‘unexpectedly’, after 2-3 weeks of making good progress; and the others have made it home, feeding well, breathing well, gaining weight and bringing joy to their families!
This is now our prayer, and our goal – that if you are born early, or small, in South Sudan, then you will be loved…..and given a fighting chance…..to beat the odds, to grow up, to know and love your family, to take your place in this nation, and to live for the Glory of God!
With God’s help, and the hard work and love of many different types of people, this can happen!