One day while visiting a local preschool we noticed a young girl with a sore on her face that looked like ringworm. We went to her house to give ringworm medicine to the mother. The girl and her mother lived in a small shack, but they were not alone. It turns out that small shack was home to 16 people: 4 adults and 12 children ranging in age from 0-16. One of the little children living there was a young boy named Christopher.
When we first met Christopher he was very despondent. Unlike most 2 year old boys, he was not very active, could not walk, had a very bloated stomach, and had black splotches all over his body. We asked the mother about the splotches and she said the local clinic told her that he was allergic to milk and corn. The clinic told her that she should no longer feed him milk and corn. In South Africa corn porridge, known as“pap”, is a staple in their diet. This family couldn’t afford anything else, so the mom was not giving him much except pumpkin. We were very concerned with this child so we asked one of our doctor friends regarding Christopher’s condition. Our doctor friend said it looked like Staph infection and she recommended that Christopher get medical attention immediately.
We took Christopher to the public hospital and prepared to get him admitted. Initially, the hospital did not want to admit him, because they said that he needed a referral from the local clinic. After much protest and the intervention of our doctor friend who worked at this hospital, we were able to cut through the red tape and get Christopher admitted.
Once the doctors examined him it was obvious that he was very sick. Christopher was very malnourished (hence the reason for his bloated stomach). In fact they said he was in the last stages of malnutrition. They also confirmed that the black splotches all over his body was a Staph Infection and it was spreading throughout his body very quickly. We were told that it was a good thing that we brought him in, because if we would have waited another week he probably would have died.
After about four weeks in the hospital, Christopher recovered and became more responsive. He is attending a pre-school where he receives two healthy meals a day. He is growing fast, learning how to follow instructions, and how to play like a 2 year old. Today, He is healthy, laughing, walking, and man can he eat!
Christopher is a special young boy and we believe that God has an incredible destiny for his life. He may never know about the sickness that almost took his life, or the people that helped save his life, but we want to make sure that Christopher knows that he is not forgotten by God.