23 August 2013

F. is for Favorite

I know I've written a lot about the numerous patients, children in particular, who have touched my life since moving to Niger in 2011 . . . and from time to time I claim to have a current 'favorite'.  But if I look back on the past thirty-one months, there's only been two that have reached so far deep inside of me, stealing a little piece of my heart.

In September of my first year at Galmi, my faith was shaken down to the core when a sweet six year old was stripped of her life through a scenario with which I wrestled for months.  Little N. did not accomplish anything significant in her few years . . . but she has left a lasting impact on my life that has come to define a part of my spiritual journey (you can read bits of her story herehere and here).

Little N. was a favorite because her life (and death) deepened my faith . . . and now there is F. whose example is facilitating my ability to trust.

02 August 2013

We are Going to Eat Food Up With Jesus Some Month Some Day

Tsoho I. sitting in the back of the church
About two weeks before B & E's wedding, a patient came to see me.  Fourteen years ago, his right leg was amputated as the result of a badly infected wound.  For fourteen years he had found independent mobility through the use of a vélo, or a hand-peddled tricycle . . . but over the years his wheels began to breakdown.

The family had scrapped together bits for an improvised fix, but it continued to break.  Apparently it needed a major overhaul.  Wanting to help in some way, I asked if they could bring the vélo from their village . . . he talked it through with his son and his brother.  No, they didn't think that was possible.

'Where do you live?' I asked.