The Kenyan Childrens Project

Blog #7

James 1:27


Tuesday 5th April 2016

James 1:27- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and windows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

We often think that religion is a bad thing, but when we consider the definition of true religion our understanding changes. Today I saw true religion. Please note the use of a short sentence to build dramatic tension... Today was Katie and I's first encounter with jiggers. For those that don't know, jiggers are parasites that burrow into the feet of their victims. They often leave their victims in pain and distress as they burrow deeper into their host and lay hundreds of eggs within their month lifecycle. The jiggers are referred to by the locals as the 'Devil's Curse' which is fitting considering that the whole process in removing them felt like a real spiritual battle. Our battle arena was the local school where we had done several other outreach programmes.

The process for getting rid of jiggers has developed from using safety pins- scratching and digging out the parasites- to using a powerful magnesium solution. After a short briefing session and glove allocation, we were spilt into four teams which we rotated. The first team washed the feet of people, which was a humbling experience. I often complain about the condition of my feet and have often hated the way they look. My perspective of my feet changed INSTANTLY when the children who had jiggers came forward. I will never complain about my feet again and thank the Lord we do not have to experience such a horrible disease in the UK. For those of you that have young children, when you are next able, take the opportunity to admire the perfect condition of our children's feet. Now imagine how you would feel if your child's feet were infested with parasites. Some of the children that came forward had toes and toe nails missing. Others had skin riddled with holes where the enemy had taken up residence. Some had feet that were crooked and swollen. Others could barely walk. Some were extremely unfortunate and had all of the above. 

It was difficult to establish those that had jiggers at first glance because of the thick layer of mud that covered the children's feet. After a quick scrub with soap (many of the children have never used soap) it became easier to access the damage. The children loved getting their feet washed and the queues brimmed with excitment as the children neared their turned at the Lynch Deluxe foot spa. 

The second stage was placing the children into the solution. This was probably the hardest stage as the solution often stings as it kills the parasites and eggs. Many hugs were distributed at this stage and sweets were given out to keep morale up. The solution treatment lasts about 10-15mins. After that, we vasalined the children's feet which suffocates the parasites that haven't been killed in solution. Clumps of jiggers would fall out of the children's feet at this stage which was very difficult to handle. In our briefing, we were told to keep our faces natural if any jiggers fell out into our hands simply because the children were sensitive to our reactions.

The best stage was carrying the children into the school office and allocating their new shoes and socks. I simply can not express the joy on the children's faces as they received new shoes. There was an array of dancing and and singing as catwalks errupted all over the school grounds. As we left the school ground, I remember looking over a graveyard of abandoned old shoes. I will forever remember this is my picture of freedom, a pair of old Clarks abandoned for a pair of pink Converses. True religion.

Read the rest of the blogs:
The KCP mission blog #1: Delays + Delights
The KCP mission blog #2: Smiling faces
The KCP mission blog #3: Day 4- I'm a Christian celebrity, get me out of here!
The KCP mission blog #4: When you renounce doubt, that's when the healing comes
The KCP mission blog #5: The Unforgotten
The KCP mission blog #6: Church parade
The KCP mission blog #8: Hands to buld a home, hearts to build a home
The KCP mission blog #9: Our God is not a 'small portion' kind of God

Leon Lynch, 07/04/2016

 Church Life