In November, two kids in our community were judged to be very malnourished by an organization called Pan-American Health Services. In Honduras for 60 years now, Pan-Am Health identifies malnourished children in situations where they are unlikely to improve without intervention. Once identified, they bring the children to their rehabilitation center close to Peña Blanca where they are treated by professionals and restored to a healthy condition. In the meantime, their parents are free to visit as much as they like where they receive nutrition and childcare training. Needless to say, what they do is very important and valuable. 

 One of these kids is scrawny, goofy, snot-nosed , 9 year-old Noe. He lives a couple of houses down in one of the poorest homes here in town. The mother is very weak, with significant illness and complications, much of them related to chronic parasitic infection. His first father abandoned him, and his current father is a drunk that works through the week, then wanders the street all weekend. Over the past year, one of our most common morning sounds, mixed in with tweeting birds, roosters, and women scrubbing laudry, is Noe’s screech “GOOD EVENING EXSTEXY (Stacey)” through our front window. He’s almost always shirtless, sniffling, and running with his head kind of cockeyed. This past year, we noticed he had taken to running around with his shirt tied to his head for a couple of days. Thinking this odd, we finally prodded him into taking it off and showing us the impressive chunk that he had shaved off the middle of his head with his dad’s razor. We laughed more than we should have.

He's the horse. Baby brother is the cowboy.
He has very poor eyesight, and as a result is heavily ridiculed by other kids and has performed very poorly in school having only completed kindergarten. We’ve worked with him some after school to help him learn to write, but it became clear over time that professional help was needed. Although we’ve missed him these past couple of months, it is good to know he is in professional hands. You can’t find anyone that calls Noe scrawny now. During  his time at Pan Am he has filled out incredibly, his nose has dried up, anemia issues have all but disappeared, and he has been visiting an eye doctor regularly. After all these up and downs, Noe will have cataract surgery on Thursday, Feb. 7 in El Progresso. Since he comes from an NGO here in Honduras, his rates have been discounted to $250 for the surgery. Between a couple of generous friends back home and the local church here in Las Lomitas (they raised more than $50 to contribute!), Noe’s bill is already covered. However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be additional costs in the future, including prescription lenses potentially. Should you be interested in helping with future costs, let us know and we’ll pass the word along as we hear.

More than anything, we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with Noe as he goes under the knife tomorrow. Any eye surgery is delicate. Eye surgery on a 9 year-old in Honduras is a very tedious thing. This surgery has the potential to change this boy’s life; let’s join him in spirit by lifting him up to Christ.

If you’d like to contribute to Pan-American Health Services, you can do so online at www.panamhealth.org and click “Donate Now.” You can donate online using PayPal or credit card, so it’s fairly painless. This amazing organization is one that truly supports the families of Las Lomitas and greater Lake Yojoa area. So if you have met some of the kids here, it is a great way to support them by helping this resource keep running smoothly. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

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