"And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction." - Matthew 9:35
Cleft lip and cleft palate, more formally known as "Orofacial Clefting" (OFC), is a devastating birth defect that causes physical malformation, chewing difficulties, breathing complications, hindrance to speech, and increased risk of infection.
According to the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, "a child is born with a cleft somewhere in the world approximately every two minutes." In India specifically, the rates are even higher: "an estimated 24.5 million births per year and the birth prevalence of clefts...between 27,000 and 33,000 clefts per year."
The need for medical care for these children, especially those from within extremely poor families and communities that cannot afford treatment, is astounding. In an effort follow the example of Jesus Christ, IDES and our partners want to meet this need in love.
One of IDES' partners in India reports that, "[The children] are accustomed to receiving no help or support from friends and family because with the Hindi religion, it is believed that they have this condition because of bad karma in a previous life, and it is believed that whoever helps them will also have bad karma." Essentially, these children are labelled as outcasts, cursed from fully belonging and participating in their community.
Try to imagine the shame, the fear, and the lack of nurturing these children may feel. Not to mention merely the physical difficulties they experience day-in and day-out. At IDES, we praise God for the opportunity to come alongside of our partners in India who take specially trained doctors and surgeons into these communities to provide the necessary treatments and procedures to bless these children with a new life: physically, socially, and spiritually.
"Because of IDES help, we have been able to correct cleft lip and palates of hundreds of people in India over the past couple of years. In doing so, we are able to share the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ to many people who have never heard the Gospel. They are open to listen to this message because our willingness to help them stands in stark contrast to their ‘outcast’ status in the caste system because of their condition. "
We pray that you, our generous donors, will continue to faithfully support this Kingdom work through IDES and our partners.
You can donate to IDES Medical Care fund here.
From our Annual Gift Catalog, you can provide a child with a repair surgery here.
Mossey, Peter, and Julian Little. “Addressing the Challenges of Cleft Lip and Palate Research in India.” Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery : Official Publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India 42.Suppl (2009): S9–S18. PMC. Web. 13 Dec. 2015.