Friday, March 24

the morning with marthaline

I left the ship early this morning to look up
marthaline with a friend.

Some of you may remember her story. A monstrous
benign tumor grew out of her mouth for years, and she
was abandoned by her husband - left to care for three
kids. MSF brought her to the ship last year where the
offensive mass was removed by Mercy Ship surgeons in a
simple hour and a half procedure.

We found her on the outskirts of Monrovia. She lives
with 12 people in a house about half the size of my
last Manhattan apartment. And with her six-year-old
son, Newton.

Our plan quickly developed, we'd get her a larger room
of her own where she can finish going to school. Pay
rent for 2 years in advance at a whopping $10 a month
so she could learn and not have to worry about
the roof over her head. And her son, who for the life
of me I couldn't coax a smile out of, should be enrolled as well

"No money" Marthaline says.


Far too easily, all is arranged. His uniform, books,
pencils and year's tuition will set us back about $50.

Then in the Land Rover to the dental clinic. The tumor
took out almost all of her bottom teeth. The volunteer
dentist from America took wax molds and chose 8 false
teeth. He asked Marthaline how she liked the spacing,
and then made adjustments. She practiced smiling in a
mirror. We paid $60 for her new smile.

She is truly beautiful now, unrecognizable through the
lens. I so clearly remember taking her "before" - but it
wasn't the tumor that so disturbed me. It was her eyes.

Now, Marthaline's a masterpiece in process, in forward
motion. A few small steps closer to wholeness with a
little money and a little love.

We stood under a palm tree by the ocean and she told
me how people treated her. "Not a human being," she

Her head shook as she remembered almost committing

Today, I'm quite sure she was glad she didn't.

- - - -

marthaline's full story


Hannah! said...

Whats going on over there? I miss the updates! Praying the God would reveal to you something new to you today.

6:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home