Sunday, March 29, 2009

Q & A, P & P

(P & P = Pups & Prayers)

Mbwa is looking better these days, but one of her six puppies has died. Another was brought to our house today. Shivering and emaciated, he is half the size of his siblings. He doesn't nuzzle to nurse, and his mama ignores him, so one of our young visitors fed and bathed him. The pup weakly wagged his tail in gratitude, then collapsed in exhaustion. Fleas still swarm on his soft pink underbelly, flaunting their survival after a misbegotten squirt of "Doom," Kenya's version of "Raid."

Are we prolonging the inevitable? Perhaps. But there is a chance he will survive. Are we fostering dependency? Certainly. But Gerry encouraged us to feed Mama Mbwa, and he buys her food. Is there any parallel between nurturing the malnourished porch puppy with wobbly legs and treating our malnourished hospital babies with vacant eyes? Undoubtedly. Because starvation cannot, will not, must not be ignored.

Mama Mbwa's other pups will soon be sold (as watchdogs, not as pets), bringing much-needed income to their owner's family. The sick toddlers in our hospital who survive could someday farm this land, providing food for others and for themselves. Were it not for "accidents of birth," their fragile lives might have developed very differently. Are we helping or are we interfering? Come and see. Is there a better way? Come and help. Who is to judge? Let us pray.

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