Today was a great day. This morning the boys and I were able to join a group from SoleHope on a trip to Wasiki Village for a Jigger clinic. Many people are asking what is a jigger? Well, I asked the same thing and wanted to find out more, which is how we ended up on this trip. A Jigger is a type of bug that burrows into your feet and hatches eggs. They are very painful and if untreated can be deadly. The children in villages get them because they do not have shoes to wear. You can also get them on your hands if you crawl or really any skin area that rubs the ground where they are.
Basically the clinics involve a group of workers washing the children’s feet, inspecting for Jiggers and removing them, treating with medicine if needed and giving them a pair of shoes to help prevent anymore. The saddest note to that is that many of the families will sale the shoes for food or a more basic need and then they are back to square one. Another thing that SoleHope will do is spray to try and get rid of the Jiggers where they are bad.
I have never been so humbled and proud at the same time. My prayer this morning before leaving was that my boys, as well as myself, would embrace this experience with God’s eyes and would be able to show Jesus’ love to these kids. I was blown away by the answer to that prayer. This was the first time for the boys to see anything like this up close and personal. I tried to explain that the kids would swarm them because they were White and they would call them “Mazungu”, not because they were being mean, but that is what we were to them. When we arrived, the boys hopped right out and started to help unload and set up. There were 2 other white kids there with them showing them what to do. Those kids come with their parents all the time as they run SoleHope. We set up basins and filled with water and soap, we sat out shoes to be sized and given away and soon the kids started to arrive. Wyatt says “Mommy, I want to wash feet.” I thought OK, lets get some gloves. He sits and waits on his first patient and begins to wash feet. Jonas is in charge of giving stickers out to the kids. They both just dove right in and loved these kids.
Jonas later went outside to play or shall I say entertain by dancing around and just being plain silly but they loved it and so did he until they tried to pick him up and take him away as he would tell it. He came running into the hut almost in tears, his heart was pounding so hard as he said “Mommy, they tried to take me away with them.” I kinda chuckled until I realized he was really frightened by this incident. I hugged him and assured him they just wanted to touch his skin and play with him since he had been so funny. He still stayed by my side the rest of the time but continued to help with stickers and shoes.
I was able to learn what a Jigger looks like and how to remove it, which let’s just say is more traumatic then any of us can imagine in the states. Especially those of us in the medical field, as there are flies all around and you are digging into the foot with a safety pin and a razor blade. Most of these kids just sat there through it because as painful as it was, it was such a relief at the end. For me, I worked with a sweet little girl Shikira who was maybe three. She would cry and I did not speak her language. All I could do was hold her hand and sing to her in her ear Jesus loves Me. It would calm her some like only the name of Jesus can. She had no idea what I was singing to her since she did not speak English but when I sang that name, it soothed her spirit, I could tell it and it was worth every minute.
We all look forward to the time when we can go again. The boys have already asked about going again and it thrills my soul to hear them ask. This is a great ministry and I hope we are able to do more with them.
Quote of the day and then a link for some pictures. Wyatt says on the way home: “Mom, I will never” I interrupted him not knowing what was next and said “Wyatt, never say never.” He says: “no mom really, I will never do this….I will never go without my shoes here, except in our yard.” LOL. Kids! you gotta love em!