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  • Writer's pictureDavid Moore

Rescuing Adan

A few weeks ago Pastor Hirbo sent us some photos of children he was treating for jiggers. We have seen photos before and we have treated jiggers ourselves but these photos were very sad to see.

It is always heartbreaking to see any child’s hand and feet eaten away by jigger infestation but the photos of two of the children haunted me. I sent them to Linda one of our board members and she wrote that the photos sickened her and reminded her our work is not finished.

As soon as we arrived in Marsabit on the missionary flight and I saw Pastor Hirbo I asked him about these two children. He said, “we shall go see them”.

That afternoon we traveled 40 minutes in the four wheel drive we had hired. As we traveled on rough, dirt roads up and down hills I wondered how Pastor Hirbo could even get to where these children lived. Praise God for Pastor Hirbo’s motorbike that allows him to reach the hurting children.

We arrived at a small village which seemed more like a collection of a few manyattas (homes made of sticls with dirt floors). We walked on a dirt path to a manyatta separate from the others. They brought to us the boy who had the jigger infected fingers and they were much improved! Then they brought Adan to us. Pastor Hirbo and I sat on a rock holding Adan as his mother stood by holding a month old baby. It was obvious the baby was developmentally delayed and blind. The mom seemed barely old enough to have the children.


Making the decision

I checked little Adan’s feet and knew he had dry gangrene on the bottom of both his feet. Pastor Hirbo sand he felt the child needed rescued. The Kenyan team spoke with the mom and she agreed. It is never easy to take a child from their mother and Pastor Hirbo only does it in desperate situations. We took the child to the quest house we were staying and everyone on our team helped. Some bathed him, some went to buy him clolthes and others went to get him medicine. It was fun watching John and George of the Kenya buy small clothes and diapers for Adan.

At first Adan wouldn’t eat. He was so listless and weak. We started him on an oral antibiotic and tetracycline ointment for the gangrene. And, we prayed for him. Soon he was reaching for the chapati and eating. We dewormed him and diapered him and put him to bed. He slept in our room with Bridgette. He slept so peacefully.


The next day Sam and George took him to the hospital. They found he was at severe nutritional risk and the doctor confirmed he had dry gangrene. The spots around his month and the black on his heads that wouldn’t come oFf when we washed him was dirt.

George at the hospital assessing his nutritional status

Pastor Hirbo and his wife (who is a saint!) agreed to take Adan into their home for now until the gangrene is gone. Adan would be the 7th child rescued by Pastor Hirbo.

The mom came to town to see where Adan was – she walked to Marsabit carrying the baby of one month. The mom had given birth to 8 children – 4 had already been rescued by the Catholic Church. She was unmarried and was shunned by her village. Very sad situation. Pastor Hirbo’s team had arranged for her to go to the hospital and be tested for HIV/AIDS and to be given family planning help. Pastor Hirbo also arranged for her to have food for the other two children and herself.

We have hired help for Pastor Hirbo’s wife as she cares for. 10 children in their home. Three of the children are away in secondary school.

These are the kinds of situations Pastor Hirbo deals with on a daily basis – making life and death decisions for some of the most marginalized people in the world living in some of the harshest conditions in the world.

Humbled to know a man like Pastor Hirbo and the wife who supports his vision to save the children of Marsabit,

Connie Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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