When baby Yenifer was born with both a cleft lip and cleft palate, her mother mourned. Of course she was excited to finally hold her little girl in her arms, but now that she knew Yenifer had birth defects, it felt like the bright future she had dreamed of for her child were crumbling away.
You see, in Guatemala where Yenifer and her family live, there is not much hope for children born with physical deformities. Not only would Yenifer be unable to eat well, or learn to talk like a normal child, but she would also become an outcast in society – unaccepted at school and consequently unable to ever get a job as an adult because of the way she looked.
But by the grace of God, a MAP-supported surgical mission team came to Guatemala City when Yenifer was 1, and she was able to have surgery to repair her cleft lip. Having overcome such challenges during her first year of life, Yenifer was a brave and beautiful soul. “She captured the hearts of our entire team with her beautiful new smile and captivating eyes,” said Elise, a mission team member.
Now, Yenifer is 2, and recently came to see this surgical mission team again, this time to have her cleft palate repaired. “With a cleft palate repair, children are able to develop normal speech patterns, eat better and gain proper nutrition, and are less prone to chronic ear infections and other complications from having an open palate,” Elise explains.
When Yenifer awoke from her second surgery, she was a whole child. She will continue to be monitored by the mission team as she grows, says Elise, “but with these two primary surgeries, Yenifer is able to become the beautiful person she was born to be.”
Because of the sutures and other supplies donated by MAP, this surgical team was able to serve nearly 100 other people like Yenifer during their visit. Each child who received the surgery they needed represents a life changed and a bright future restored. You can be the change for another child today. Visit map.org to learn how.