Christian Missionary Helps Bring Child to U.S. for Life-Changing Surgery

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Currents News Staff

At George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Huston, nearly 120,000 people are flying and out of the country’s fourth largest city each day. 

The city is also home to the world’s biggest medical center. On the last day of July, one plane passenger was taking the first steps of a journey that will change her life.

Having been horribly burned as a toddler and then abandoned, four-year-old Elvina Kolevi arrived in Houston for a new chance at life, thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Elvina was burned in an open flame at age two and left in a primitive village in Papua New Guinea. On July 31 she came home to people who love her.

Cletus Dillman, a Christian missionary with Aventist Aviation Services, found Elvina in her wounded state. 

“You cannot ignore the pain, especially in a place like Papua. It’s very remote,” he explained. 

For more than a year, Cletus has been working to get Elvina treatment for her wounds. 

“I knocked on many doors around the world asking for help. The first person that answered my call was Ms. Hashmat from the House of Charity,” Cletus explained. 

Hashmat Effendi is of the Muslim faith, and runs a non-profit healing home in Houston where Elvina will live for free for the next six months. 

“We will teach her how to take care of a house, how to clean, starting from personal hygiene, then grocery shopping. We will teach her English. We will teach her computers. It is very exciting.”

Elvina will be the 275th child Hashmat has helped.

Texas Children’s Hospital has donated what will be as many as three surgeries needed to transform Elvina. 

Still, it was expensive to bring her to Houston. 

Dina Simmons came from Arizona for Elvina’s arrival,and is leading the slow fundraising effort meant to pay for Elvina’s flight, that of her caregiver Kuto and for another child still awaiting her chance.

“We’re excited for this life-changing thing, that Elvina is going to get the help that she needs,” said Dina.

First steps are often the most important, and the most critical. Now, Elvina who is half a world away from the only place she’s ever live, is taking her first steps for a second time. 

If you would like to help, there is a GoFundMe available to help with Elvina’s travel.

Search “Fly Elvina and Kathy to treatment” on GoFundMe’s webpage.