Sela was born March 18, 1988 and came to the Mission October 20, 1992. She was born with cerebral palsy and has mental retardation and may also have tuberous sclerosis. There are no records on her files of her history before she came to the Mission, apart from having temporarily being in another orphanage that wasn’t equipped to meet her needs.

Sela is very limited in her abilities. She depends on the staff to do everything for her. She can’t speak and primarily only uses her right hand to hold a rattle or a bottle. She loves being tickled, so much so that if no one else will do it she tickles her self behind her head or on her leg. Depending on the mood that she’s in she sometimes enjoys holding a persons hand (particularly if it’s a boy), or she’ll let you know that’s not what she wants by pushing your hand away. 

She has complications eating and swallowing. Her food has to be pureed, and her drinks are thickened into a paste form so that it doesn’t go down into her lungs. There have been times that she has struggled with various health problems, but she has been generally free of major complications for the last two years.  

Throughout the years all of the wheelchairs have been donations that we mixed and matched to make them fit our kids. They’ve never had custom fit chairs. Last summer a couple of girls who have spent time serving at the Mission did a fundraiser called “Make Sela Smile.” They raised not only enough for Sela, but also enough for a significant portion for a chair for Eddie. On November 6th Sela’s chair was delivered. We had no idea how much difference a custom fit chair would make. She has been happier and laughing more than any other time in her life. The fit of her chair now gives her the confidence to lean forward and appear more engaged with everything going on around her, which she has never done in the past.

All of the staff are really amazed and are enjoying the change of character that it has brought out in her. She’s never been able to express any problems or discomfort that she may have experienced in the past. When she would cry all we could do is guess what she might be unhappy about.

Please pray that Sela’s comfort continues and that the Lord would give insight to the staff when she when she does cry. Also pray that she will be able to overcome her swallowing difficulties.

These are links to the videos related to the fundraiser:

Make Sela Smile