Archive for the ‘Humanitarian Aid’ Category

Our Thermometer Runneth Over!

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Humanitarian Aid

1.  All needed money in hand.. AMAZING WORK OF GOD!

2.  Dave has arrived in DC and has Julie’s passport and paperwork

3.  Many pairs of shoes and socks and medical supplies arrived in DC and are being packed into duffle bags this moment

4.  Toys, books and other ‘keep busy’ items are being packed for Dave and Julie to entertain the children.

5.  Tomorrow Dave flys to Ethiopia for one day, to give Julie her passport

6.  Monday Dave and Julie fly to DRC

7. Monday 2 more children will be operated on and will come to Dave and Julie for recovery at the guest house

The orphanage tells us that they are looking for another place to move to.  Still, Dave will try to access the ‘bug’ problem because I do not know how long it will take for them to actually more.

Please pray for everything to work out according to plan (HA!.. Plan???)

Pray for  the continued healing of the children

Pray that we will be able to identify more children with medical needs in Congo and that the extra funds can be used to “heal the children.”

2 weeks ago today, I returned home from Congo, devastated by what I had seen.  It is hard to imagine all that has happened in the past 2 weeks.  People whom I do not even know have worked so very hard to find contacts, funding and to help solve this problem.   Despite receiving some criticism, we have made many new friends from all over the world.  My heart is warmed by the goodness of people and the love they have for children THEY HAVE NEVER MET!  God will repay each and every one!

Now…please be watching the blog for more pictures…of smiling faces and healed feet! In the meantime, here is a picture of only some of the wonderful donations that were waiting for Dave in DC:

THANK YOU!

Thank you for giving! Please share with everyone as we still are in need of funds!

So…no surgery for the children today, despite being told that they were at the hospital. I have been told different things…. First the doctors refuse to operate unless they were assured that they would not be returned to the orphanage…and since we have no one who will take them in…for pay or otherwise, they would not operate. I was also told that  there was also a dispute over the agreed-upon rate…which infuriates me…that is NOT a reason to withhold surgery, as I sent all the requested funds by Western Union yesterday.  One Congolese pastor in the US said that “he could not help because he does not trust Congolese people.”  No comment needed to that one!  Someone else wanted to know what ‘tribe’ the children were from…as IF THAT MATTERS!

This is a rescue mission.  When there is an earthquake, do we say, “we will come back to rescue you from the rubble once we have all the answers as to why, what if’s, when and where, and when the complete money is available?”  There is no time to consider all the possible scenarios…these children need to be surgically rescued…otherwise some can die from tetanus or gangrene!

So…yesterday we sent overnight an application for a visa for my husband Dave.  We also overnighted our daughter’s passport from Ethiopia to the USA.  Honestly it scares me to have her in a foreign country without a passport…as she would not be able to leave in an emergency, having no identification as an American.  But I realize that God will take care of her during this uncertain time.

We hope that within a week, both Dave and Julie will have visas to Congo and can travel together and get there to open an infirmary in a guest house for children to recovery.  We are also trying to get a quick passport for one of our Ethiopian friends so that she can join them in Congo.  She is scared as some might remember what happened when our Ethiopia rep tried to enter Congo with us (valid visa and all).  But she is going to try to come along and she has experience with this condition and also has a master’s degree in Public Health and can help us with longer term solutions.

There is a pesticide which can kill these fleas but it is not available in the USA.  But some people are working on trying to locate it outside the USA.

For today, I have cried all the tears I have in my body.  I am banging my head against a brick wall. Maybe my head will crack open and out will come ideas and solutions.  Today we had an unexpected visit in our office by the local police (they were just updating contact information) but what popped in my head was “I bet Angela called them as a suicide precaution.”  But, no, not to worry…we will see this to the end.

So for now, please, please, please PRAY for:

  1. Dave and Julie to get visas QUICKLY so that they can be on their way to DRC together…hopefully within a week. They cannot stay long, so hopefully others might come to replace them if needed
  2. Possibly for Nurse Hewitt in Ethiopia to also get a quick passport and then a visa to DRC
  3. For adoption cases to be approved quickly so that other families can arrive soon and possible help care for other children.
  4. For the rest of the needed funding to come in so that all children can be treated
  5. The health of the children needing surgery while they wait
  6. For Congolese Christian families to step up to the plate and open their hearts and homes to care for children in need

Some have asked if we need shoes and socks.  YES, we could use NEW or very slightly used sneaker type shoes and new clean mid length socks for children aged 2-8, boys and girls.  Children need these once their feet are healed.  I do not need hundreds of shoes… just about 30-40 pairs.  So if you are going to send shoes, please ask me first… because we cannot possibly receive hundreds of pairs.  They can be sent to my son’s address, who lives in WashingtonDC…and they should arrive by Thursday Sept 13th in hopes that he can leave Friday for Congo with 2 visas in hand.  He is not there during the day so please don’t send them with a signature required.  His address is:  Tim Hedberg 4303 18th St N, Arlington, Va 22207.  Please check with me BEFORE you send shoes and socks. Thank you!

Thank you for the words of encouragement from so many of you!

Sue

Today $100 was received toward the medical needs of our children in Congo.  God is in control and will supply the needed funds.  Although many people have expressed an interest in possibly going to Congo to care for the children during their recovery, there have been no commitments.  It takes awhile to receive the letters of invitation and visa to Congo so we are not sure what to do. We have enough money to operate on 5 or 6 children but we have no where to send these children during their recovery and no one to take care of them during their recovery.  We absolutely cannot send them back to the orphanage with open wounds so we are at a standstill.

We are still in need of 2-3 volunteers to go to Congo immediately.  We are also in need of another $10,000 to cover all the needs of all the children needing to be operated on.

Please please continue to share the need with your friends, family, Facebook contacts, workplaces and churches.  We cannot send volunteers over there if we do not have the funds to cover all the surgeries needed.  And we cannot begin the surgery until we have volunteers to care for the children in recovery.  So, that is where we are right now!

If you have been thinking about making a donation, please think and act!  The children are suffering each and every day!  I am waiting to be able to share some ‘before and after’ pictures, hopefully before the end of this month!

Expectantly waiting for God’s provision,

Sue, for the children

We are amazed to report that $6725 has come in over the weekend to help care for the surgical needs of these children. It has brought me to tears.  This brings the total so far to $8,925! THANK YOU on behalf of the children.

We found a Congolese businessman who negotiated a price of $900 per child for surgery… so I will update the need-per-child to $1100 to include follow up and medicine that is needed.  I have spoken with this  businessman at least 4 times over the weekend and today (at his expense… there ARE people who care! 🙂 ). He had been referred to me as someone who might have local Congolese families to care for the children after surgery.  Unfortunately, he told me, “never ever will a Congolese family volunteer to take in a child not related to them. You will never find a family to help in this way.”  That was heartbreaking for me to hear, but at least I know that we must send our own contacts to help the children in recovery. We are ready to begin as soon as we can get people on the ground to help with recovery.  Many people have expressed an interest in possibly going to Congo but we have not yet had any definite commitments.  It takes weeks to get the letters of invitation and visas so we are anxious to have firm commitments of 2-3 people who can care for the children post surgery.  We are ready to begin operating on some of the children, trusting that the rest of the funds will come in.

Many people have asked about how we will make sure that the orphanage problem is ‘fixed’.  I know that this is important and we will do what we can to deal with that in the future but for right now, the children are suffering and that is the most important thing to deal with now.

People has asked about sending shoes.  We have already supplied them with many shoes but the children only wear flip flops. I am happy to send more shoes and socks to be used after surgery but it will be hard to guarantee that they are using them.  We will work on that in the future.  Once people are ready to travel, we can give an address to send shoes for those who are interested….

Keep watching this blog for an update.  GOD BLESS YOU FOR CARING.  On behalf of Rebecca, Blessing, Shako, Omba, LaVenir, Mado (Agape), Sifa, Marie, Beni,  Patricia, Prince, Heureuse, Titna and Jacobs and possibly other children whose feet I did not inspect!

Serving HIS children, 
Sue Hedberg, Executive Director
Celebrate Children International, Inc.
Matthew 25:40
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  
—Jesus

Project Feet

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Humanitarian Aid

This letter is meant to disturb you… it is meant to touch your heart… it is meant to move you to action… it is meant to move to you share this letter with everyone you know… family, friends, neighbors, churches, Sunday school classes, civic organizations and clubs, and to give and ask others to give as well!

PROJECT FEET

 

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”

Matthew 25:40

Today, August 29, 2012, I returned from a 2 week trip to Democratic Republic of Congo and to Ethiopia.  My time in Congo was difficult, as it is every time I go.  The situation in DRC is difficult in every sense of the word.  This time, however, I was mortified and devastated by the physical condition I found many of the children to be in.  The orphanages in Congo are atrocious. They are overcrowded, poorly funded and lack the basic necessities needed to care for children.  One of the orphanages which with we partner is located in an isolated area surrounded but nothing but sand.  The children play outside and have contracted jiggers.  These are bugs that live in the sand during the dry season and burrow their way in the skin of the children. The result is severe pain and suffering and an inability of many of these children to walk.   Families who are adopting children have already paid huge sums of money to provide for the health and medical care of the children they hope to adopt.  Unfortunately, this condition seems to have been ignored by all those in charge.  Few people I met seemed to be concerned about these children’s condition, saying that this is common during the dry season.  The doctors, however, say they have never seen such severity of this condition. The children are suffering terribly.  This past week, adoptive families who were in DRC to pick up their children were forced to take their children a local doctor who pulled some of the jiggers out of their feet, however, this doctor eventually realized the severity of the condition and needed to operate on the children in order to remove all the bugs and infection.  The cost per child was approximately $1500.  We have at least 15 more children in need of this kind of surgical intervention.  This cannot wait.  It was devastating leaving the children in this condition but it was necessary for me to return home to look for the financial help needed to fix this and to get the children out of pain.

Here is a link about this condition: http://www.digidrift.com/jiggers-chigoe-flea-the-hidden-african-killer/

Pictured below are pictures of the feet of some of the children I saw this week:

 

 

What can you do?

  1. We need $20,000-$25,000 in cash for surgical intervention.  We need this immediately and urgently.  Every single day the children are suffering.
  2. We need 2-3 volunteers who are able to travel to Congo and spend 2-4 weeks there caring for the children during their surgery and recovery.  We believe we can get all the children ‘fixed’ within 3 weeks but at this time.
  3. Share the word about this great need with everyone you know.  Print out copies of this letter.  PLEASE, PLEASE HELP. Please give this to your church, your friends, schools and clubs.  All donations are tax deductible.  Please make checks to CCI  1757 W Broadway Suite 5, Oviedo, FL  32765, and mark them “Project FEET.”
  4. You can also donate by visiting http://www.celebratechildren.org/humanitarianAid/index.php and clicking the Make a Donation button in the upper right section regarding Project Feet. (Please note that Paypal will deduct a portion of your donation as a service fee. Therefore, it is best to donate directly to CCI whenever possible.)
  5. If you know of someone who might want to go and help, and can raise their own funds for transportation, please refer them to us as soon as possible.

Please consider what you can do to IMMEDIATELY help these suffering children in Democratic Republic of Congo.

100% of your donation will be used for this project. Rest assured that CCI will not deduct any of your donation for overhead costs!

For more information, please contact  Sue Hedberg  at   sue@celebratechildren.org   or call 407 977-2810 or 407 625-9192.