Two Articles About Beauty for Ashes

by msardonia on March 24, 2011

These two articles by Donna Stevenson and Steven Bloyd are of great interest regarding the work of mercy, Beauty for Ashes. They will both be encouraging to those who have followed this work.

Elder Steven Bloyd, Mt. Carmel Primitive Baptist Church, Bel Air, Maryland
One of the greatest blessings during a recent trip to the Philippines was to spend a short time at Beauty for Ashes. It was good to put names, faces and personalities with the 16 children that are continually cared for.
The children have memorized and sing hymns of praise, individually and in groups. Despite their circumstances they have a Love for the Lord and a love for each other. It is like one big happy family.
A special memory established during one of the last days with the children was when all 16 children were assembled around Sister Harter. She took each child along with their respective picture albums and talked individually within in the group about their lives, before and since coming to the orphanage. The children related what they remembered, their feelings and concerns. One child was brought by her blind grandmother, others by more difficult circumstances. Sister Harter reminded them of their Heavenly Father’s love.
Another vivid memory was of two little twin 10 year old sisters, Katie and Kelli who experienced birth defects, which they are unable to walk, or stand, it’s difficult for them to even hold a pencil. Each weighs probably 4o or 45 pounds at most. Yet they love the Lord and love to sing about the Lord. Their voices blended as they praised the Lord in songs they had memorized.
One afternoon we visited the children’s floor of the local government hospital. I could not believe the awful conditions we witnessed. Hundreds of children in one large room, some starving, some sick, some dying, some without a parent. Some of the children at Beauty for Ashes came from these conditions.
The Lord has blessed Beauty for Ashes to help over 400 starving children in the last 10 years. May his blessings be upon this great work for years to come.

Sister Donna Stevenson
In January of this year, I was compelled to join Elder Gus and Sister Betty Jo Harter as they returned to the Philippines. As a registered nurse, I had a desire to lend a helping hand to do what I could to aid in the work of the Medical Clinic at Beauty For Ashes. As a Christian, it was my heartfelt duty to assist in any way that I could in this work that these two saints had started almost 10 years ago in a desire to follow their calling of the Holy Spirit.
The goal of Beauty For Ashes is to help severely malnourished children and give them a chance at life. These waifs are the chaff that the Philippine society lets blow away as if their little lives mean nothing.
I make the effort now to relate to you my experience from a medical perspective. Let me first attempt to explain a triage system. In the event of a disaster in which there are a vast number of injured persons and casualties, there is a process of categorization that takes place in order to facilitate the administration of health care. Those who are dead or have injuries that will result in imminent death are “black tagged”. A black card is tied to their big toe. In this manner, healthcare staff do not waste valuable time on attempting to render aid. Those who have life-threatening injuries are tagged with red; yellow cards are given to those who need medical attention soon but can wait for care; and green is reserved for the patients who have minor injuries.
In countries such as The Philippines, there are so many who need medical attention but the available resources are severely limited. Only those with the best chances of survival will receive the care they need. It sounds cruel, but is a fact of life. There is an inestimable number of children who must be “black tagged”. Over the course of 10 years, Beauty For Ashes has taken 400 children who were left to die, due to their severe malnourished conditions, and were brought back to health and who now live to learn about, worship and honor our God in spirit and truth. Only 7 children have not survived after being taken in to the care of this facility. Our own Western medicine is unable to boast of such statistics.
I made a trip to the government hospital in Davao City and witnessed with horror the stark and sobering conditions there. Why did I never imagine that they would not have respirator machines available to patients who were dependent upon oxygen being actively delivered into the lungs? The patient does not have the ability to move the lungs on their own and therefore, their breaths must be provided for them. What happens when the exhausted mother at their bedside, who is responsible for their care, slips into slumber after agonizingly long hours of squeezing a bulb repetitively so that they can give their dying child their next breath?
I saw row after row of rusty beds with cardboard covered springs providing a sick bed for the child who was lucky enough to make it into the hospital. I moved from bed to bed to see if there was any way that I could help. I checked numerous IVs to see if the flow was adequate. Still, when I close my eyes to sleep, I see the haunted eyes of the mothers at those bedsides. Eyes that pleaded with me in a universal language of motherhood. “Please save my baby”. It matters not that our cultures are vastly different. The voice of Rachel crying for her children has been heard for centuries and in many lands.
In contrast, I had the immense pleasure of spending time with the children who live at Beauty For Ashes. These beautiful children are clean, happy and have a heart for God. They will quote scripture to you, they will talk with you about the grace of God, and they will sing with angelic voices, the hymns that we have sung for centuries in our churches at home. When they bow their tiny heads in prayer, they pray with all the reverence, honor, glory and gratitude that is due our Lord. Beauty For Ashes has made such a profound difference in their lives. They, like the whole Adamic race, were “black tagged” and left for dead. But by grace we are saved!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Martha Barrington March 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I am so blessed to hear more of the ongoing work at Beauty For Ashes! Is there anything in the way of supplies that could be bought or made and shipped to you? I personally don’t have a lot of resources but I serve a God who owns the cattle of a thousand hills!

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