Wednesday, January 16, 2013


My African Daughter, Praise, came to see me and we talked and talked.  

We discussed so many things as she wanted advice from here Dad.  
We decided what we should accomplish when we visited her home - 
build an addition to the school house.  

She also, mentioned that all the children had been infected  with Jiggers.
Jiggers?  I wasn't sure that I'd ever seen them. I had not idea how bad they could be.

She said they were in the dust on their floors.  
They are actually small and worm-like flee.  
They bore into the skin and then the foot becomes infected.  

Some children begin to lose their ability to walk. 

But knowing all this did not even begin to prepare me for what we saw when the team arrived.

One of the jiggers removed from a child's foot.

 Every child's foot was infected.  Not with just one, but with many jiggers.  

Oh, how our hearts broke for these children.  

They had run to the car to meet us.  
They had smiled and danced for us in a presentation of tradition African dance.  
They never once complained! 
Yet the pain would have had everyone of us on the floor writhing in pain.

So Alicia Halpenny, our team nurse this time, went to work with a part of the team!

Emma and I met Alicia when I was home for my mom's funeral. My mom always wanted to go to Africa! 

Alicia teaching Praise how to help the children.

Praise cutting away some of the jiggers with a razor blade.

Slowly they cleaned each foot, then soaked them in a cleansing solution.  

Then they began the digging process... sore after sore, foot after foot.  But it was only the beginning... so much more to do - we barely were able to scratch the service of this very serious situation.

Ruby's Friends of International Voice of the Orphan is going to pay for these children
 to be taken to the doctor to finish the necessary work.

Today the team from Old Paths Church in Perry, NY  
and Rome Baptist will be buying sneakers and shoes at a local market. 

We are seeking to learn how we can kill these things in the home and spraying the land. 

These kids deserve better. 

They deserve the care that we can provide - TOGETHER!   

1 comment:

  1. I was privileged to travel to Mozambique on a missions trip, and I had one of these little bugs in my foot while I was there. One of the local ladies dug it out and explained how normal it was. When I got home I had another one develop. I went to the doctor and they kind of freaked out - they dug it out and sent it to the Centers for Disease Control. What a different life we lead here. The teams with our organization have found that washing their feet every night keeps the little bugs from gaining a foothold (no pun intended). I don't know how practical that is for these kids, but I thought I would mention it.