Hope for the Hopeless

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Read about everyday life in Sakété Benin

Many of you probably remember the story about sweet Esther. To find out more about her history, go to http://treeoflifeusa.org/esther/ for our initial post regarding her needs.


Our staff in Benin met with Esther’s father several weeks ago and instructed him to go with her for an updated consultation by the medical staff at the hospital. During this consultation, the medical staff gave him the date of June 11th to meet with the doctor who would perform Esther’s surgery. They met with the doctor and more bloodwork was performed. This meeting and all subsequent meetings have taken place in Cotonou, a large city approximately 2 hours away from the orphanage that has the only neurosurgeon in Benin.

Following the bloodwork and consultation, the doctors agreed that the surgery was urgent and they are still willing to perform this operation at the hospital in Cotonou. Currently, we are still all waiting to hear from the anesthesiologist so a schedule can be made between him and the surgeon for Esther’s surgery. After this scheduling has taken place we will have a date for the surgery to be performed to help correct Esther’s hydrocephalus. Please pray with us that this scheduling takes place soon and that Esther’s surgery will be performed in the very near future.

Our staff in Benin is diligently following Esther’s case and her care. We are grateful that her father is very responsible and also respectful of our requests. He seems very willing to be completely transparent with the money he has been given for her medical needs. Each time he goes to the hospital there is a 4+ hour round trip ride in a public taxi involved. We are grateful for his willingness to assist his daughter to receive the medical care she desperately needs.

We will keep all of you updated when we have further details regarding Esther’s actual surgery date. Thank you again for your incredible generosity toward this sweet girl and her urgent needs. We are thankful to play a part in restoration for this child’s health and it would not be possible without each of you!

Please continue to pray for Esther and her family. Also pray for our staff as we minister to them. We are thankful that our Pastor is helping us with this specific situation and ministering directly to the family as well.


We count it a blessing to partner with you,

Tree of Life – USA

Author: Ashley Barchus

Ashley first volunteered at Arbre de Vie in the spring of 2007 and has poured her life into helping the children of Yedidja and the people of Sakété ever since. She now lives in Sakété, with her husband Jon, serving as a mother to the children in the orphanage while also being the director of the orphanage and the social assistance programs of the ministry. She is also the president of Tree of Life USA. Before moving to Benin, she was a youth pastor at Beavercreek Church of the Nazarene from 2006 - 2010. She received her undergrad and masters degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

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