I came in contact with now 7-year old Precious and her parents Constantino and Eveleen in December 2016. She suffered from a cleft lip and cleft palate. I wanted to hear their story and to discuss the possibility of finding a hospital and surgeon who would be willing to perform corrective surgery for Precious. Because there are not many children on the island with this condition, Precious and her parents lacked the knowledge of individuals with a cleft lip or cleft palate. All they knew was that Precious was having a challenging time doing basic functions such as eating and talking. The cleft lip and cleft palate continued to handicap Precious more and more everyday. Although Precious is brave and very strong emotionally, she had been praying to Jesus to give her a new face.
I shared the story of Precious with the MAHI International Board and asked them to help us find a option for reconstructing her cleft lip and cleft palate. We eventually found a generous surgeon, Dr. Herber from St. Helena Hospital, Adventist Health who was willing to help change this little girl's life. After a few months of preparation, the team at St. Helena Hospital and Dr. Herber welcomed Precious into their facility. Reconstructive surgery was what Precious needed. And it was what she got.
Precious and her family are so grateful for the miracle of a surgery to fix Precious' cleft lip and cleft palate. They, along with all of us at MAHI International, would like to thank Dr. Herber and St. Helena Hospital for this service. The children's ministry at North Hills Church, Claremont, CA made it possible for Precious to travel the distance from the island of Pohnpei. They also overwhelmed Precious with loving welcome gifts. Finally, PUC Missions from Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA have housed and taken care of Precious and her mother during their stay in California. We applaud all of you for your commitment and compassion to make something beautiful happen in Precious' life.
Precious is healing now. And she is thrilled about her surgery for a couple reasons. For one thing, she is so happy her face is fixed because now she knows that Jesus answers prayers.
The other reason she is elated is because now she can wear lipstick!