"Alex hurt. Terribly. His feet were cracked and oozing a white discharge. He literally had the eggs of a parasite living in the cracks. And his belly gurgled as something slithered around.
Alex is a 10-year-old boy in Zambia. He has been victimized by an insect called the chicgoe flea, commonly known in Africa as a 'jigger.'
These creatures enter a child's body, often through a bare foot. They cause extremely painful lesions. The skin blisters, the flesh is destroyed, and the toenails fall off."
In Alex's own words, "I have never put on shoes since I was born, and I never thought I would. . ."
When World Vision showed up with pairs of shoes, he announced, "My heart kept pumping very fast. I'll be able to attend classes and play football again. I thank the donor who provided these shoes and may God bless him."
His mother remarked, "Alex rarely smiles. But today I see him smile after receiving shoes. . .My son is happy and that makes me happy, too. I am really humbled, and today I will sleep with a free mind and a joyful heart."
I've lost count of the number of times I've read this, and I still cry about it. Begging for shoes? Never owning a pair? A lifetime of pain at 10 years old?
This was our family's latest compassion project, and I was so excited to send off the money! It's one of the gifts that is multiplied, and anyone that knows me well knows I am a woman of bargains! Our $53 became $636 in shoes, clothing, and meds.
Made. My. Day!
You can read more about this situation here with World Vision.
I'd love to hear about your favorite place to give!