From the monthly archives:

July 2004

He Regardeth the Sparrow, He Regardeth Me (Part 5)

by Original Author on July 10, 2004

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

Fressia Mae, Warren and Baby Cisco

Last week I received a call from Annie, our Social Worker. It seems she receive a call from Bantay Bata whose role it is to rescue children in trouble (abuse, neglect, etc.). A Barangay capatain reported 3 children boarded up, padlocked in a hut with no one to care for them. Would they rescue them? They did and called us. Bantay Bata takes children on a temporary basis trying to work something out where they can return them to the parents, if at all possible. They knew when they saw these children that they would probably not return to the parents because of such harm having been done to them, so they called us knowing that we would raise them if necessary.

I prepared a bottle, clothes and necessities to go to the clinic and receive these babies and take them back to my house. What frightened little children I saw when they arrived. Cisco, scrawny, all eyes, no flesh, so weak you could not even hear his cry! Four months old, less than six pounds. Warren 2 years old with round burns all over his body even his head. Fressia Mae, the four year old sister said, my Papa burns him (warned) with fortune cigarettes because he won’t stop crying. Warren was so thin; his face looked as though somebody had punched in his face.

And then beautiful four year old Fressia Mae. One leg much shorter than the other. She walks with such an unsteady gait. As in the routine, I took them for blood work and X-rays and for immunization the next morning. No wonder Fressia Mae had such a cough. She has TB. Now all three children are on TB medicines.

As usual with the new babies I have to care for them by myself at first. The reason is that they need one consistent caregiver in order to bond and stabilize. I knew that Fressia Mae and Warren would have a hard time sleeping and I wanted to be there when they would wake in the night so they could see that I was still there for them. I tried to mentally brace myself for getting up again every 1 ½ hours to feed this new malnourished baby “Cisco” boy, it is so much easier to do at 25 years old than 65! I’m weary during the day but I’m beginning to adjust again.

Anyway the children are now smiling, running. Fressia calling me Mama. Warren talking for the first time, and Cisco “cooing” like all other normal healthy babies his age. They have integrated with the rest of the children now and all our hearts have received them.

Pray for the future of these three new ones. I do not want them to be allowed to return to their birth parents. They harmed these children so very much, however, in this particular case I am not the deciding factor, I can only give my input to the authorities. We covet your prayers as always.

Mom Betty

{ 0 comments }

He Regardeth the Sparrow, He Regardeth Me (Part 2)

by Original Author on July 10, 2004

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

Attorney

Yes, this is the name of the 7 year old boy I am going to tell you about.

How did he get this name? He had no name. When the Social Worker attempted to help him she took him to an attorney’s office and named him Attorney. At first I was going to change it but I like it, different isn’t it?

Attorney is a native of the Manobo Tribe, Cannibals they are! Attorney’s mother was murdered by the tribe. His father poisoned – Attorney lived with his Lolo and Lola (Grandfather and Grandmother) in a Nipa Hut in Talingud. He wanted so badly to attend to school. Every morning bright and early he got up at sunrise and walked 5 kilometers to school. He was so industrious and eager to learn that when he didn’t appear at school for months, the teacher decided to try and find him. When she finally found the village she was astonished at the condition of Attorney. He was on the dirt floor, sprawled out in a pretzel like condition with his leg swollen and twisted. It appeared to be broken, and certainly badly infected. It seems that attorney fell one morning and could not get up. He thought he might have broken his leg but he was so afraid he would get in trouble if he told his Lolo. Of course the teacher realized how frightened Attorney was. She tried to comfort him and took him to the Barangay Captain. The Barangay captain called Beauty for Ashes and asked me if I would pleased accept this precious, industrious little boy and help him. My heart cried out to him, however I knew from past experience that when we took children that did not present themselves as merely 3rd degree malnourished that the expense was often great and the responsibility overwhelming. But I agreed because this little boy had shown such inner strength and was orphaned. Our workers and social worker from his barangay arrived at Beauty for Ashes late that evening. Everyone was exhausted from the long travel from Talingud to Davao. I looked at this child with the huge brown eyes and twisted swollen leg and cried. No complaining from this little guy. He had never been out of the jungle and here he was in the city at the clinic with a roof over his head and a blonde American woman that did not even understand his dialect! We both just held each other and that was enough for then.

The ordeal of healing was long. We admitted him to the hospital. I contacted the orthopedic surgeon that operated on me, and the process of healing began. It was apparent from X-ray that his leg had developed Osteomylitis of the bone. The surgery for scrapping the bone was done. He was then fitted with a body cast. He was still smiling. I visited him in the hospital and took paper, pencil, and crayons. Those things he had walked over 5 kilometers to use in the school that was so important to him.

All of the events occurred in October 2003. This same boy insisted on visiting me after my surgery in Christmas. Someone carried him up to my room because the body cast was so heavy. I had them put him in bed with me. We looked at each other and understood more of what we couldn’t say than what we could. Attorney is in our Children’s Home. Jumping playing basketball and understanding English amazingly well.

{ 0 comments }

He Regardeth the Sparrow, He Regardeth Me (Part 1)

July 10, 2004

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter I have failed to update you in so many blessed experiences of God’s grace. They are daily, moment to moment. They’re recorded in my heart. Oh, for more time and discipline to record them on paper for you. Just a few: Elizabeth When Sam was pregnant I would go […]

Read the full article →

He Regardeth the Sparrow, He Regardeth Me (Part 3)

July 10, 2004

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter Hannah While visiting Talaingud among the Manobo Tribe, our worker called me about two children who needed our help and begged us to take them. One was Allowey, the other Lang-Lang (means nothing). The Health Worker from that tribe asked me if I could please accept a 6 months […]

Read the full article →

He Regardeth the Sparrow, He Regardeth Me (Part 4)

July 10, 2004

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter Giovanni How can I describe this 14 years old boy? Thin, almost gaunt looking at times because of the heavy monthly chemotherapy. Bald? Yes, but that doesn’t describe him. It’s the smile. The infectious grin across his face. Giovanni has cancer. His leg has been amputated at the knee. […]

Read the full article →