By Renee Thorwall, Discovery Intern


Thanks to the contributions of funds and personnel from the House of Healing, Tanya’s Gift has already impacted the lives of Guatemalan children in need of treatment at the hospital for malnourished children. Here are updates on each of them:


  • Ilse: When beginning treatment, Ilse was three years old and weighed only 21 pounds. She also had a heart issue that left her unable to walk more than a few steps without stopping for breath. Ilse was treated at the hospital for malnourished children until she gained enough weight to safely undergo surgery. On March 16th, she had her surgery and has been progressing very well. She has only one remaining appointment with her surgeon on July 29th. Now she is putting on weight and has no difficulty eating. She even enjoyed tilapia when she and her family visited Teri’s house. The whole village is marveling about what God has done!


  • William: At the beginning of his treatment, William was three years old and weighed only 21 pounds. He has since gained a pound and his mother has learned a lot about feeding children from the hospital for malnourished children. He was released for outpatient treatment and only comes to the hospital for weekly follow up visits. When he finishes treatment, he wants to go to the restaurant that Teri and his family went to on the day he was enrolled in the hospital. This day should be coming soon.


  • Arely: In addition to malnourishment, Arely also needed heart surgery. After treatment she gained enough weight to have her operation. At three years old, Arely had heart surgery on May 23rd and after recovery returned home. According her mother, Arely is now thriving.


  • Jessica Cristina: At five months old, Jessica Cristina was admitted to the hospital for malnourished children in May. She lost weight after contracting pneumonia caused by the old sheet metal walls, nylon roof, and dirt floor of her home that were always wet during the rainy season. Jessica Cristina has a heart condition as well and needs to put on weight before she gets surgery. With the stress of Jessica Cristina’s illness her mother, Elizabeth, has also lost a considerable amount of weight and now weighs only 86 pounds. Both mother and daughter are now receiving treatment at the hospital for malnourished children. In addition to being grateful for the care that she and her daughter are receiving, Elizabeth is grateful for having a roof over their heads and for having a safe and dry place to heal. Recently, Jessica Cristina fell out of bed at the hospital for malnourished children. She received treatment at a neighboring hospital and is now in stable condition. A group serving at the House of Healing has also constructed a temporary home for Elizabeth and Jessica that will protect them against the elements once they are released from the hospital.


  • Manuela Teresa: In addition to being severely underweight, Manuela Teresa needed exams in Guatemala City to see what else was wrong. Frightened by what was going on, Antonia, Manuela Teresa’s mother, fled the hospital with Manuela Teresa to their small village. A social worker walked three hours to the village to convince Antonia to return Manuela Teresa to the hospital. When the social worker arrived, Manuela Teresa’s grandmother also stepped in to help convince Antonia to return Manuela Teresa to the hospital. Ultimately, Manuela Teresa was readmitted and we are now awaiting the test results so a treatment plan can be formed for her. Praise God for faithful social workers and strong grandmas!


  • Antonia Eva: Antonia Eva was in the hospital for malnourished children at the same time Ilse was admitted in December. Antonia had a rectal prolapse operation that failed to help her. She is now in a government hospital waiting to gain enough weight to undergo another operation.


Thanks to each of you for your faithfulness in praying for these precious children. Since child malnourishment is a chronic issue in this area, the work of Tanya’s Gift is far from over both for these children and for others like them.