NUTRITIONAL RECUPERATION CENTER — HISTORY
Back in 1984 God put in the hearts of Sam and Julie Hawkins a special burden for El Salvador. They didn’t know the language or what they were going to do once they were here, however they decided to be obedient and arrived in El Salvador in 1986 with $3,000 in their pockets and a willing heart to serve. The Hawkins started working with friends of theirs who already had a ministry serving children in communities out in the country. When the money they brought was running out, they prayed harder to under-stand God’s purpose in their being here. Intense prayer went on for a year and a half until another American couple visiting in El Salvador asked them if they would take care of a 14 month old little girl with severe malnutrition. Her name was Karla, she weighed only 9 pounds. They accepted and decided that Julie would stay at her side during Karla’s stay at the hospital. She didn’t leave her side for two weeks and a half until such time Karla’s health seemed to be more stable. When Julie left for home to rest for a while, they got a call from the hospital saying that Karla had just passed away. Grieving, Sam and Julie returned to the hospital for Karla and then to the Child Protection Services. They were asked again to care for another child who was also severely malnourished. He was a 4 month old baby boy. Convinced in their hearts that it was God who was calling them to do this, they accepted and cared for him for 14 months in their own home where he recovered completely. Jose was adopted later on by a loving family in the United States. God used both babies to confirm why He brought them to El Salvador: caring for babies in need of love, food and special care. That is how Love Link was born.
….Between 1987 and 1989….
……doors kept being opened for them as they met generous people who supported them and their ministry. The Hawkins were able to rent a house and hire two nannies where they cared for up to 12 babies simultaneously. In 2000, they moved to a house in Colonia San Francisco where they kept working for 3 years. Their ministry grew.
In 2001 God led Sam to a man whom he started a friendship with. A year after that relationship started, this man and his wife decided to donate a big, old house to Love Link. The house needed a lot of work to make it adequate for the babies they served, so Sam doubted if they should take it or not. However God opened more doors and put more people in their path to support them. That is how Love Link’s current facilities are adequately equipped. They have a wonderful staff with a accumulation of 95 years of experience with severely malnourished babies, all trained in the Love Link.
…From the beginning…
…..the Center has served more than 1,300 babies and approximately 98% have fully recovered thanks to the love, special care and treatment they receive here. Only 2% of the babies served have passed away due to complications they had prior to coming to the center. Many of the doctors whom Love Link has worked close with assured that between 80-85% of the babies we take in would have died if it wasn’t for the special care and treatment they received with us.
Many of the families who agreed to leave their babies under our care, don’t believe that they will see them alive again due to the fragility of their health. However, they are extremely pleased and happy to not only see their babies alive again but to witness a visible transformation within two weeks that gives them hope. In some cases, the mothers don’t recognize their babies since the children’s appearance had radically change.