Providing a new prosthetic leg for this sweet, shy schoolgirl was a blessing for Melitta Verrill and her husband
By Melitta Verrill, Global Health Initiatives donor and trip participant
Last January I traveled to Rwanda to help the GHI team engage local school children with crafts and songs each afternoon after their school day ended.
Most of the school children came in their matching school uniforms and sat on benches under the pergola on the hospital grounds.
They all seemed to know one another well. They were talking, laughing, and clearly eager to practice speaking English with me or one of the other “Mzungus” (a term used to refer to people of European descent).
I soon noticed a little girl – Emelyne – with a very serious face who sat quietly off to one side. Her mother was nearby sharing the story through a translator of how her daughter had tragically suffered the loss of her lower leg in a traffic accident.
The girl looked scared and forlorn as her pant leg was raised so pictures could be taken to show her need for a new prosthetic limb, which she had outgrown more than a year ago.
My heart broke as I thought about the trauma she had experienced, not just because of the loss of her leg, but also because her undersized prosthesis was obviously limiting her ability to fully engage in the fun and play with the other children her age.
At the time of our meeting, my husband – who was also on the trip with me – and I didn’t know Emelyne would become our sponsored child in Rwanda. We knew we wanted to help in some way and asked God to lead us and show us where there was a need.
We feel blessed that we can help provide Emelyne with a properly fitted prosthesis now and in the future as she grows and requires refitting. We hope this gives her the confidence to engage in all the activities that girls and boys her age share.
Our prayer for Emelyne is that her life will be full. We hope she will feel loved and cherished and come to know Jesus who loves her more than any of us knows!
We pray her limb loss will teach her perseverance and give her confidence that she can overcome any difficulty that lies ahead. We wish her good health, success in school, and a healthy self-esteem.
May she know she has a special place in our hearts and that our lives have been forever blessed for having met her.