Written by Lorraine Francis - Mukti's Mission Director
Joseph was born with a cleft palate and the distraught parents and grandmother came to Mukti with this little bundle wrapped in swaddling clothes. Our visiting pediatrician recommended that this child be brought into the loving arms of Mukti.
The child could hardly be seen as he was neatly hidden under the sari of his young grandmother (hardly under 40 years of age). When this child was born, he was a weak, premature child – just a bag of bones. The parents would have thought that with good nourishment, he could have been more healthy, gaining weight day by day. However, seeing his face, having been born with a cleft palate, the family did not have the courage to take their new born home and face the neighbours. India being a unique country with so many diverse cultures and habits, the parents knew that no sooner they would bring the new born into their home, the neighbours would come to see the new born baby. Their only fear was that they would laugh at the new born child and tease the parents for giving birth to a child with special needs.
The doctor who was assisting, especially during the ant-natal suggested that if they do not want to keep this child, the only secure place would be Mukti Mission where hundreds of needy children are being looked after by Mukti.
“What wrong have we done that such a child was born to my daughter?” The grandmother sobbed her heart out, wiping her tears with the edge of her sari. “What did God delight in by forming a deformed child in the womb of my daughter.” I had no words to console them but all I could say is that the child’s future is in God’s Hands and that His glory might be revealed at a later stage through the birth of this child.
We also encouraged the young mother to stay for a few weeks till the child grows a bit more and that mother and child could enjoy a bonding period. However, "this can’t happen", she told me as she had two school going daughters to care for. “They are both normal, beautiful girls and they were already missing their mother as she was in the hospital for the delivery of baby Joseph."
After a painful goodbye, the grand-mother and the parents left, kissing him all over his face as if not to see him any more. Since then, baby Joseph has been well looked after by the Nursery Supervisor and the team who are full on during the day and night, caring for these helpless babies who are precious.
After further investigations, we have been told by medical experts that this child not only suffers from a cleft palate, but has severe neuro problems and has to undergo many surgeries till he is 12 years old. Pray that the Lord would save this little life and that the light of Jesus will shine on him as he continues to be part of the Mukti family.
If you want to know more about Mukti, click here.