Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

From The Ottens

Written by
Dear Friends,
This time we will write about the nutrition centre at the hospital in Cubulco. Presently there are 55 children involved.

For most of the year 1997 there were about 20 children at a time in the program. The way children joined the program was by referrals made by the doctors of children they saw in the clinic. We realized, however, that parents tended only to bring their children for consultation when the nutrition problem was very serious. So the parents would not wait till the children are very seriously ill we decided to expand the nutrition centre. Now nutrition centre staff and doctors can send children who they meet on their trips to the villages and on their visits to the homes of families who are presently in the program. These families may refer other neighbour children who are examined and admitted into the program if they are indeed malnourished. These children stay for six to eight months in the program. This allows enough time for the parents to take all the education classes twice.

Transito Rosales, a four year old boy, joined the program in June 1998. He has six siblings. His father is in jail for a year already. He was a boat driver taking passengers from one side of the river to another in his small boat. One day a drunken passenger fell overboard and he was put into jail by the authorities. The mother moved closer to the town of Cubulco and lives in with a Christian family. She carries loads and washes clothes for people, earning about a dollar a day. The family is very malnourished and also very unclean. We hope that they will learn from the classes as well as start their own garden, which they are excited about.

Bartolome Sente is a five year-old boy who entered the nutrition program in May 1998. The family's home was given to them when the electrical company displaced them from their home by flooding their land to make a reservoir for the water electric dam. They have no beds and the father works at any manual jobs that he can get. The father strongly encourages his wife to attend the nutrition classes and learn all she can. This is very rare, as often the husbands want their meals on time and have the wife help with the chores at home. One can already see the effect of the program as their home is much cleaner than it was before. They also have a very small garden. They hope to increase its size when they get more fish mesh to keep out the chickens.

Our family is well, and we enjoyed a month of vacation in Canada with our family and friends. It was a good time of refreshment and we thank God for His blessings. Thank you too for you encouragement through cards and letters.

With Christian love,
John and Connie Otten.

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