Friday, August 10, 2007

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news

This afternoon, I was showing a visitor pictures of what the kids looked like a month ago. I thought I'd post just a couple, specifically of (Nancy) Jepkemboi's feet, since the changes in her little world have been most dramatic.

When I ran into Nancy and Joanne Jemutai the first time, the 6-year-old was painfully shy. One could hardly hear what she said when she answered questions. She kept tugging at her skirt, and it was obvious that she had not had a bath in weeks - perhaps months.

She smiled shyly in demand for pictures. But just for a moment, and then her little face would grow sullen again.

I returned home and wrote this, knowing I could never ignore the fact that these girls had been brought into my life.

I returned to their home the next week. Though I first thought I'd simply get to show them God's love through taking them food, buying them a new mattress. Getting them some clothes or bathing them sometimes. Easy stuff. But after giving them their first bath, I knew this would be harder. I knew God brought this family into my life for a purpose I'll yet learn. And I learned more about sand fleas than I ever cared to know.

Nancy's left heel. Later, I removed about 20 egg sacs from this heel

The sole of Nancy's right foot

While giving them their first bath, my friend Ruth explained to me that the scars were from fleas, and that we'd need to dig them out. We also knew the kids would have to wear shoes if we were to win this battle. But Nancy wouldn't wear shoes because her toes were simply too swollen. She walked with a slight limp, and I never saw her run. There was just a heaviness about her.

I returned home and wrote this. And for the next 5 weeks, donning latex gloves and digging at egg sacs became second nature. The community started calling these kids "Adele's children," but I tried pulling in community members to get involved, too, so they can also experience the joy of seeing God bring about healing through us.
Nancy's heel after a couple weeks' work on it

... and her feet today!

The healing process continues, but it's hard to believe that these are the same feet. And it's hard to believe it's the same girl.

She runs. Because she can.
She smiles. Often. Out of the blue.
She even giggles at my silly antics.
And she sings quietly when I work on her feet.

More and more, I see people treating her and her siblings as "our children."

A neighbor has started to teach her and her sister to write.
Another neighbor is donating eggs to their family once a week.
Another neighbor delivers vegetables from his garden every so often.
The kids at the home invited them for our weekly movie yesterday.
Young men in our neighborhood are planning to go help the dad fix the house this week.

And the list goes on. And on. These truly have become "our children."

I haven't the slightest doubt that our children will tell others about Jesus someday. "He came to my house," they might say. "He looked just like my neighbors. He sounded like them. Sometimes he could speak Nandi. Other times only English. Sometimes he was brown. Sometimes white. Sometimes a man. Other times a woman. But I know him. He prayed with me many days. He even kissed my feet after bandaging them. That made me laugh. He healed me. See?"

Do I think we are being Christ? Certainly not. But vessels we are. How else will Nancy know him?


  1. Adele,
    What does this family need? Are there flip-flops or any shoes for the kids? What can we do to help you with your girls!?!?! Kathy Bishopaug

  2. Kathy,

    The children do have shoes now. Flip flops, tennis shoes, as well as rain boots. The rain boots have helped the most.

    The best way to help is financially. I hire someone to cook them one meal a day. That's $10 per week.

    And soon, I'll know about the schooling options, which would mean more funding.

    If you'd like to sponsor their food for a week or 10, look for instructions under PARTNERSHIP.

    Be blessed,

  3. what an amazing journey and story. thanks for sharing it adele!

  4. Bwana asifiwe, Adele! I am so completely overjoyed and praising God for this MIRACLE! He is so good! I know that it is not technically an ELI ministry, but I would somehow like to make these kids a part of my 2 year commitment to that possible?