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Turning Orange Hair Black

Turning Orange Hair Black

I have been to Haiti with Mission E4 several times and have many vivid and mind-altering memories from those trips. But one memory stands out among all others – the day I learned that Mission E4 turns orange hair black.

In January of 2018, our mission team visited a new school in Baussan. Our team performed a bible skit for the kids, then the kids performed for us. During that performance, one little boy caught my attention because his hair looked different. It was noticeably orange. Every other child had coal-black hair. I asked a leader if the boy dyed his hair orange. The response wrenched my gut. 

The orange hair was due to malnutrition. The boy also had scabs on his arms, which is another symptom of malnutrition. I asked what would happen to him. The leader explained he should live “if” it wasn’t already too late, and “if” the boy kept coming to school every day and received the provided hot meal. If he did survive, his hair would turn black again. And it would be easier for him to pay attention in school because he would be able to concentrate, something difficult to do when hungry.

To this day I do not know if the boy lived or died. Malnutrition, and death from it, are common in Haiti. It is uncommon to me, and I am a bit dazed again as I recall this memory 4 years later.

No child in the world should die due to malnutrition. But a disproportionate number of children in Haiti do die from malnutrition caused by starvation. In 2018 I recall that Feed My Starving Children had a goal to provide 365 million meals around the world, with over 90 million going to Haiti – 90 million!

Feeding kids in Haiti is not free. Giving them an education, clean water, and basic medical care also costs money. Mission E4 provides these services, no charge, to more than 2500 children through its sponsorship program. They give kids hope. And for some kids, they turn orange hair black.

Ed Rarick

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