Many of you know the story behind the naming of David’s Hope International. David was the boy Pastor Steve used as a physical example to describe to our team the need for an orphanage in Eburru.
In excruciating detail, he pointed out David’s skin-and-bones frame,spotty scalp and skin, and sunken eyes. In these moments, we decided to raise financing for the conversion of a picturesque 1937 British colonial farmhouse into a home for homeless and destitute children.
As you might expect, David has been on my mind since arriving in Kenya. After a few days in Eburru and no sign of the little guy, I was beginning to wonder. Things started to move from curiosity to concern when yesterday David was no where to be seen at church. I spotted his uncle and asked about David’s whereabouts. Apparently, he was at his house, told it was best if he did not come, reason not really explained. I asked to see David and he showed up after the service looking pretty happy.
Unfortunately, David’s physical appearance was terrible. Absolute skin and bones – even worse than when Pastor Steve used him as an example in front of the farmhouse. Sunken face, dry rough skin, shoulder blades and ribs sticking out. No meat on the bones, and his demeanor wasn’t right.
A short time later at Mary’s cafe in the town square, David’s actions went something like this: wolfed down 2.5 plates of potatoes, cabbage and bread; sprinted outside for a number two bathroom break; slurped down a mug of portage; ate a sweet; hung out with our group of kids near the steam plant; started walking with us toward his house; complained about a stomach ache; rested on the side of the road; and fell over after standing up due to a cramp in his atrophied legs. Sad, but not the end of the story.
Several weeks ago, one of our team translators in December, Elijah, had called saying David needed money. I never really understood why and pretty much ignored the request, feeling a little skeptical and thinking I’d see them in about a month anyway. Well, yesterday Elijah said the reason for his call was David’s lack of winter cloths. He was shivering at school and who knows how much he was suffering at night.
Back to the town square it was time to buy David a hooded coat and two pairs of trousers.
Once David had food in his belly, he had started talking, Elijah translating. Turns out there was a reason he was not at church and no one on the current mission trip team to Eburru knew him. Several months back, Pastor Steve’s night watchman had told David to stay away from the camp (not sure why), which to a shy boy in his condition meant “fear the watchman” and stay away. He did both. You should have seen his face while talking. He was petrified of the watchman.
For a cost of $7.00 US (food and clothing), a few hours of time and a conversation to help clear the air at the camp, David should be in a better spot for the future.
Please keep David and all the children in your thoughts and prayers.