Smiling Bright: Miguel’s Inspiring Journey

Columbia – Angelina looked down at the sleeping 8-month-old boy in her arms. Miguel’s face was so precious to her, even with the cleft lip that he had been born with. Her heart ached to see him healed. As his mother, she would love him to the ends of the earth – but with his birth defect, society would not be so kind.

Children born with cleft lips or palates, like Miguel, often suffer much difficulty later on in life if their defect is not corrected at an early age. As babies, they may have trouble eating, their speech development may be delayed, and they are often not accepted by schoolmates. If unable to finish school, then they likely will be unable to get a job in adulthood.

Miguel’s future certainly looked bleak. But Angelina had not given up all hope. Their family was not wealthy – they were just struggling to survive, really – so she had been turned away at every medical facility she had approached looking for help for Miguel.

Now, as they sat on a public bus, traveling all day to Santa Marta, she just prayed that this might be the miracle she had been looking for. There was a medical mission team coming to visit, she had heard. Rumor had it that the surgeons could repair cleft lips and palates, and that they even did it for free. It sounded too good to be true, but Angelina knew she had to try – it was Miguel’s last hope.

When they finally arrived at the hospital where the mission team was working, Angelina carried her son inside. The team examined Miguel and determined that he was eligible for surgery, and Angelina could hardly believe their good fortune.

After the operation, a nurse brought Angelina to the recovery room to be with Miguel. When she saw her son with his repaired lip, she could not stop the tears of joy flowing down her cheeks. What a blessing that this team had welcomed them with open arms and finally helped her son!

“Without the suture donations that were provided through MAP for our mission, we would not have been able to change the lives of children such as Miguel,” said Dr. Andrew Jacono, the mission team leader. “Thank you for supporting the work that we do and making our missions successful.”

Because of generous supporters like you, Miguel and others like him were given the chance to thrive in their childhood and grow up to live their lives to the fullest. If you’d like to learn more about how MAP helps children around the world, visit

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