I went to visit the General Hospital Oncology ward for kids and women yesterday in the "big city" of this country. It was a trip which tested my faith (whatever faith that is!)
I knew that in going there, there are only 2 things I need to do.
1 is NOT to cry. If I did, that may be a signal for hopelessness.
2 is I MUST touch the kids and talk to them. Even if they speak another language. (Princess Diana "taught" me that).
Yes. The place was barely clean.
Yes. The place was FULL of virus, bacterias and then Some!
Yes. It smells of everything that assaults the senses.
But I saw parents, grandparents, & sibling staying and living with these kids in the hospital for as long as they need to complete their treatments.
These kids with cancer ranged from 2 years old to 13 years old. There were "only" 12 of them here. All are skinny. Half are listless. All are in pain from the cancer or from the treatment.
3 of them no longer cared to live. No eye contact, just pain, pain, pain. But 1 little boy took my heart.
Yes. I know here I am beginning to make out like I was some f**king hero but the truth is, only 2 of us, foreigners made physical contact with the kids. The other 13 local ladies who went did not do so.
Now this little boy with a terribly big tumour that filled 50% of his mouth (it used to fill 90% of his mouth and covered to as far as his entire neck!) just SMILED & SMILED.
He had the best smile I have ever seen. No need to pay a dentist a million bucks for his smile. And all because of a bag of cheap toy guns which we opened together and started playing with.
Yes. I wouldn't buy a toy gun for a child because it supposedly promotes violence. But what the heck! I don't know how much longer this boy would live (he does have a huge cancerous tumor) & he so..ooooo LOVED his toy.
OK. I didn't think of toys. I thought of honey as sustenance if they couldn't eat. So I took pots of honey and condensed milk.
The families of these kids have come from far and wide, and they have come only because they love this child & because they had HOPE.
Here, they usually have 5 to 10 kids & to come here to the big city, they literally have to abandon eking out a small existence & who knows who is caring for, or looking after feeding their other kids?
Everyday these parents don't work, they don't eat. Fairly straightforward in poor countries like this.
I was wondering why are there only 12 kids here? Many reasons. But the primary one is lack of space, lack of info.
It seems there are many MORE out there (maybe for every kid in hospital now, 100 are not being hospitalized?) who don't know their kid have cancer, who don't care their kid have cancer or who just HOPE God is there to "cure" them.
So excuse me again. Where is God and why does he make little children suffer? What were their sins again?