A Heavenly After

This post is re-blogged from Jenna Clements’ blog, Overseas. 

Let’s be honest, we all love those before and after photos that so clearly show a child’s full transform from skin and bones to a chubby healthy baby.  The more dramatic the greater joy it brings! We love to see babies recover. It’s the reason we do what we do! I love when I can find the first photo taken of a child newly admitted and then 3 months later take a new picture and put the two side to side. I love seeing as the number of “likes” on the COTP’s Facebook page grow from 20 to 246.

Here is an example of the most recent before/after photo…


Having a dramatically different before and after picture automatically shows that child as a miracle; showing how far they have come and sharing their healthy beautiful smiles with those lucky enough to see them. Sometimes we forget how fragile some of the babies are that come into the care at COTP. Their progress is gradual and sometimes it isn’t until we look back at the beginning that we can so obviously see the difference. Nothing speaks louder about the work here than a photo tangibly showing the progress a child makes in our care.

However, there are some after photos that are shared only with One. God is the lucky holder of those after photos.

Podelandine was brought to us by her father. Podelandine had kwashiorkor, a severe protein malnutrition, her legs, feet, around her mouth and ears were full of open sores because of the severity of her malnourishment.  Her father, having just lost his wife 8 days prior, knew he had to bring her because she was getting worse. Not knowing about COTP until just a few days before, he had no other place to go earlier for help.  Once hearing about COTP he quickly showed up at our gate asking for help for his daughter. She was admitted on April 8th, her 1st birthday.

Because of the sores covering her legs and feet, it was a struggle to find an appropriate picture to share on the COTP’s Facebook page. Yes, people do need to be aware of the reality of some of these children, but there is a fine line between showing the reality and having it posted publicly on Facebook for anyone to see without their choosing.  Because of this, the decision was made to not show this picture of Podelandin on Facebook. I am choosing to share this photo with you now because I want you to be able to see the reality and see her precious father who loved her so sweetly.


Usually it takes a few days after a child is admitted to get a photo put up on Facebook, so because of this, I figured I would wait until we could get a more appropriate photo of Podelandin to post on Facebook. However, she passed away before I had the chance to let our followers on Facebook even know she existed in our care. Part of me can’t help but feel a little like I let those people down.

I only spent a few minutes with the sweet girl. As I was looking at her I couldn’t stop thinking about how beautiful she was. Something about her caught my heart. Those were the only two minutes I got to share with her.

So Podelandin didn’t get her famous before and after picture on Facebook. But what she got was better. She got to run into her Father’s arms in Heaven and be forever Heavenly healed. And that’s what gives me more Joy than any ‘after’ picture I could have taken of her.


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