At the Buyondo Child Survival Program in Uganda, 50 mothers 17 of whom are pregnant and 33 children, including Caroline and Esther, are benefiting from holistic child care.
Caroline Juma had rarely spoken with her husband, John, about her pregnancies. It isn't proper, she told herself. But with each pregnancy, things became more difficult. Each child meant less food for the others.
Each time she gave birth in her family's small home near Kampala, Uganda, with a neighbor holding her hand, it took longer for her body to recover. And now, she was pregnant again. She refused to tell John about her hunger or about the weight loss and exhaustion.
When Caroline was eight months pregnant, a stranger broke their silence. This woman shared with Caroline and John about the Compassion-assisted Buyondo Child Survival Program. As she told Caroline about the importance of medical care and nutritious foods, John shook his head in shame. Couldn't this woman see his family couldn't afford those things? But their visitor went on the explain that there was no cost to John and Caroline that people thousands of miles away sent money to care for families just like theirs. John couldn't understand why these strangers wanted to help his family, but Caroline seemed so excited that he agreed.
If John had doubts about the program, they vanished the day his daughter, Esther, was born. But the celebration of new life was quickly overshadowed by the threat of death. Caroline and Esther were both ill. They were told that without a blood transfusion, Caroline would die. But John had no money for the procedure. He ran to the Buyondo Child Survival Program and breathlessly explained to them what was going on.
CSP workers quickly wrote a letter and told John to take it back to the hospital. He glanced at the words as he ran through the dusty streets, and he was surprised to see that the program was going to pay for Caroline and Esther's medical bills. They were saving the lives of his wife and newborn child.
"God heard my prayers and cries, and Compassion chose to help my child and wife," says John. "I had no money for my wife, but Compassion provided everything that we needed."
Esther and Caroline have both recovered, and Esther is now growing into a strong, healthy child. As Caroline rocks her daughter to sleep, John can't help but stop and watch for a moment. He knows he is witnessing a miracle.
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