By Megan Dunegan
From Swaziland, Africa:
one mother. five children. no father. and a disease that kills millions of people a year.
I climbed into the backseat of our kombi after a long morning at the care point, expecting a semi-normal answer to the question, “How was your day today” When I turned to our ministry contact Pastor Gift, he replied, “We got a baby today.”
“We got a baby today?!” I said back to him a bit confused. He proceeded to tell me a story that ended up with my team caring for the tiniest, most amazing, beautiful boy.
He is four weeks old, and his mother is suffering from AIDS. She has not been able to feed him since he’s been born because she is no longer producing milk, and she has little to no strength to care for him. She has four other children, and now she is teaching her eight year-old daughter how to be a mother to all her siblings, because that is the role she will have to take on after her mother passes away.
A couple days before we got the baby Aaron and Pastor Gift had gone to do a house visit to see the family. That day the mother was in extremely poor condition, and she had the baby there with her.
Traci and Pastor Gift returned to the house a couple days later. Having knowledge of the situation Traci asked if it would be culturally appropriate to ask if we could take the baby for a while to care for him, and see if there was anything we could do for him.
She and Pastor Gift talked with the mother, and she allowed Traci to take him. So until further notice our team has acquired the task of taking care of a four week old baby boy that is in very poor health.
He now has seven surrogate parents (none of which have previous parenting experience). This is a pretty huge task to take on, but he has been the greatest gift to me and my team this whole trip.
We took him to two different clinics today. He weighs 4.8 pounds, and he is on four different kinds of medicine and electrolytes.
He has trouble breathing and he’s got a really severe cough.
We believe that he will become stronger and healthier everyday. We pray and prophesy over his life and little body every day.
We take turns holding him, feeding him, and changing him.
He’s been sleeping with Traci in her tent on a little bed she made him, but we’ll probably switch it up to give her a break. His mother told us today that she is very thankful that we have been caring for him and praying for him.
She wants us to continue taking him back to see her during the week, and she’ll let us know if she’s ok with us continuing to care for him. Since the mother is so sick we have been praying about having her sign over adoption so we can take the baby to an abandoned baby center. The ministry we are working with knows of a couple excellent centers that he can go to where he will be taken very good care of. Please join us in praying for his continued health, provision of the next steps to take, for the mother and the rest of her children, and for our team that we would have wisdom and love him more than he’s ever been loved.
one campsite. five mothers. two fathers. one sweet, little baby boy. One Love that heals the weak and the broken.
Megan grew up in Texas, going to mass every Sunday until her parents divorced when she was seven. After college, she spent two months in Mexico, where she began exploring the call to be a missionary. She is now over halfway through her year-long trip around the world called the World Race.