Through absent mothers and malnutrition, God still provides

“Even if things do not go as we want, God always knows how to take care of us,” Giltane tells me as she leaves Grace Emmanuel School for the day. At 9 years old, she has already learned this truth firsthand.

Nearly two years ago, Giltane and her little brother were abandoned by their mother, who left the house in the middle of the night without a goodbye after an argument with their father. Giltane’s father says she was tired of their economic situation. The children have not heard from their mother since.

Giltane has a very protective father, who is very attentive to the needs of his daughter even if he admits he cannot always make ends meet. As a small vegetable farmer and goat keeper, he does his best for his children because “they are all I have.”

Giltane’s family

Giltane loves her dad a lot and knows he is a responsible father. She sees how hard he works so that they do not feel the lack of their mother, even learning how to cook so he can leave them breakfast in the morning.

Because her dad heads out early to tend to his garden, Giltane takes care of her little brother, and gets him ready for school. She inspects his uniform and makes sure he has everything he needs for the day. She says it is her pleasure to serve her family in this way.

Nearly a year ago, Marie Lyne, the school nurse, noticed Giltane was too small for her age. She looked pale and was very weak. After the necessary evaluations, Marie Lyne realized Giltane was developing rickets.

She began sending milk powder and supplements home with her and checking in every week. Giltane has since improved, gained weight, and has more energy.

Now a fourth grader, Giltane is very brilliant and does well in school. She likes to dance, write, take care of the house, and draw. She wants to become a specialist in medicine and also a great chef. She wants to build a church in her community, and a hospital so that all children in the area have access to health care.

When I asked her for a truth that she wants to remember all her life, she told me, “If you trust God, everything will be okay.”

It is a privilege to see faith in the eyes of a child, and to be part of the provision God has for this courageous little girl.

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26

Scindie St Fleur served as a counselor at the Lighthouse Children’s Home and Grace Emmanuel School from 2014-2020. She currently works as a psychologist at LifeSong for Orphans, where, in addition to providing mental health services, she oversees an academy program that teaches children with motor, physical, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities.