Sixty years ago, a Catholic priest named Father William Wasson rescued a starving street orphan from a Mexican jail after he’d stolen money from the alms box at Fr. Wasson’s Church to buy food. This humble missionary priest didn’t know it at the time, but his simple gesture of love would soon become Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (Our Little Brothers and Sisters), a Catholic foundation that today operates nine orphanages throughout Central and South America. I recently returned from their Honduras orphanage, which is home to nearly 500 children.
Most of us, when we think of an orphanage, conjure images from a Charles Dickens novel or a Bing Crosby movie — children born into loving homes, in good health, whose parents died too young.
But in Honduras and elsewhere, the reality is very different. Many of the children who come to this orphanage were abandoned by parents who themselves are scarred by drug use and prostitution, and among these children are several with severe physical and mental disabilities. Virtually every child arrives with deep emotional wounds. They have suffered in ways that only a fellow orphan can understand.
So let me say: thank you, thank you, thank you! I offer my thanks knowing that words will never adequately express how grateful we are for the many ways you support MDA — through your service, your financial contributions, and, especially, your prayers.
That’s where our work at Mission Doctors Association (MDA) enters this story. By whatever journey these children arrive at NPH, they require long-term medical care — far more than overburdened social service agencies and underfunded government healthcare systems can provide. Many children arrive with life-threatening conditions like tuberculosis, HIV, or sexually transmitted congenital infections. Others arrive with physical deformities and debilitating medical conditions that will require intensive medical care throughout their lives. I met the boy in this photo one afternoon when I heard a child crying outside my clinic door. I found him alone, sobbing. His caregiver had been called away by an urgent matter and left him there, figuring I would find him. Things happen differently in the mission fields.
After tending to his immediate medical needs, I picked him up and held him for almost an hour. God may have arranged this time for us — I don’t know — but the clinic is always busy in the afternoons… except on that particular day, when time stood still and it was just the two of us.
There’s a lot to this boy’s backstory. He carries burdens that Olympic weight lifters would find difficult to lift, let alone carry on their shoulders every day, and he bears his cross with a grace that can only be explained by Christ’s love. This boy is one of many thousands of children that MDA serves every year in the mission fields of Africa, Central America, and elsewhere, and we are able to do this work only because of your support.
So let me say: thank you, thank you, thank you! I offer my thanks knowing that words will neveradequately express how grateful we are for the many ways you s upport MDA — through your service, your financial contributions, and, especially, your prayers.
Philip Hawley, Jr., MD
Thanks to your support of Mission Doctors, Dr. Philip Hawley, Jr. has been able to serve in Honduras, providing compassionate care to children living at Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos.
Thank you for being our partner in this Mission of Hope and Healing.