Today was a very difficult day in Shinyalu. We saw things that cannot be unseen. We experienced things that will leave a lasting impression on our minds of the great needs here among the people of Kenya. Dr. George Matimbai (our head doctor for WorldComp medical camps) tells me these are the memories I need to take home with me. He tells me to never forget, to carry this burden back with me until it takes root and makes itself at home in my heart. Here’s my prayer: If these are the things that break God’s heart, then I want my heart to be broken too.
To help you understand the condition people here are in, I want to tell a few stories. The second person we prayed for today was the boy with gangrene in his foot who we treated the day before. I had to get stern with the mother because the boy should have been at home resting. We were able to rush him to the hospital yesterday to have the foot treated and to get him medications. Even with treatment, however, the doctors may end up having to take his foot, an unimaginable loss for a 9yr old boy. I’ve posted a picture at the end of this post that is hard to look at, but it shows the severity of the situation here.
Another family came to the camp today with foot problems of a different sort, jiggers. Jiggers are tick like worms that imbed themselves into skin, typically feet and hands. Once inside the skin, they lay eggs and spread rapidly. It’s painful, and if left unattended to will lead to infection and loss of limb. The procedure to remove them formerly involved razor blades and a lot of pain. Now, they simply soak the infected area in potassium permanganate, apply a vasoline balm, and the jiggers come out on their own. In addition, we gave the family some disinfectants to clean their home so the jiggers will be gone for good.
Finally, on a positive note, I had the opportunity to pray for a sweet little girl around age 5. She was being tormented by a persistent nightmare every time she went to sleep at night. Her mother said she would wake up screaming and shaking uncontrollably. In her dream she was being chased by a black dog with evil eyes. I asked God to give her peace and rebuked the source of these tormenting dreams. She came running to the prayer tent the next day to tell me the black dog was gone and she slept all night in peace. I was so blessed to hear that. This little girl could be the highlight of my trip. By the way, her name is brilliance!