I first met Gifty in March of 2012.
During the year that I had been gone from Liberia, she ended up at one of the orphanages that Orphan Relief and Rescue visits weekly. She had been living in the community with her family but, sadly, none of them were at all concerned about her health, safety or well-being. Each day, Gifty would visit the orphanage in search of food and love. Over time, her visits became more and more frequent until, one day, she simply ended up living at the home. No one from her family fought to get her back. No one from her family seemed to even care.
After going so long without much attention, Gifty has become an extremely affectionate little girl. When I returned to Liberia in March, Gifty greeted me with a smile and a hug, and she constantly would reach out to hold my hand or ask me to pick her up, even though she had never met me before. Since then, Gifty has stolen a piece of my heart. I love her toothy smile and the excited look in her eyes when she comes running to me. She is such a precious little girl, and it breaks my heart that she has gone through so much of her young life being cast off and uncared for.
Gifty is a living and breathing example of why I am in Liberia, devoting myself to a program that exists to let the orphans of this culture know that they are loved—no matter what. Every time I hold Gifty, each time I feel her hand in mine or head resting on my lap, I am overwhelmed with the realization of how deep the Father’s love for her truly is. As much as I love sweet Gifty, God loves her even more.
Lately, I have been growing more and more concerned for this precious little girl. Each week, I am noticing she’s come down with a cough that won’t go away. And on top of that, she seems to be losing weight rapidly. She has always been small, but in the last little while, she seems to be getting even tinier. Her ribs are clearly visible, and when I hold her, I can’t help but notice how bony her little body has become. She’s still smiling and laughing—but I still can’t shake this worried feeling.
Next week, Gifty will be making a trip to the doctor so that she can be examined. It is my hope that, if something is seriously wrong with her, it will be revealed during the visit and that the treatment will be readily available. Please keep little Gifty in your prayers, and watch the blog for updates about her in the coming weeks.