I know even at 11 years old, weighing just a mere 30 pounds, bloated belly, skin scarred badly from scabies, and chronically infected ears that has resulted in hearing loss, God sees Stephen Kimani and loves him.
By Michelle Outman
Day 2 - NAIROBI
I took Stephen Kimani back to the guest house with us last evening. Our in-country coordinator Keziah Murugi noticed he was limping yesterday at Children's Garden. When I was getting ready to shower him I figured out why. He had an abscess on the back of his right quadracept right below his buttock. It was draining pus and blood. A 4-inch circumference of his skin was swollen and hard from infection. He was covered in scabies and scabs from itching. I also noticed yellow green pus draining from both of his ears. He was feverish, his skin hot to the touch.
I know this is a lot of information and I usually do not share the "hard" side of my work, but there are many team members in America who love this tiny soul and deserve to know how he is really doing. Keziah made an appointment with Dr. Malavo, the pediatrician who sees her own daughters. Kimani has been a patient of Dr. Malavo's since I first started taking him for ear and nutrition evaluations in June of 2014.
Dr. Malavo still remembers Kimani even though the last time he treated him was in January of 2017.. He was concerned and surprised to see Kimani has not grown much in the last 2 and 1/2 years. He was disappointed to see that his ears were still chronically infected. He checked the abscess on the back of his right leg and concluded it was an infection from the itching and scratching from his scabies. Dr. Malavo also noted he was running a fever and questioned us about Kimani's bloated belly. He ordered a stool sample to be tested at the lab for parasites.
It is a harsh reality in many orphanages that many infections and parasites go untreated and innocent children suffer. It is not for a lack of trying to keep the children healthy. It is not for the lack of love of the children. Most orphanages are privately funded which means that they do not receive help or assistance from the Kenya government to care for the orphan and vulnerable children epidemic. Most orphanages are under resourced financially; they depend on the good will of others and cannot afford to employ enough staff. When you are the father of 200 children, you rarely know the daily details of your children and these things go unnoticed. Healthcare and treatment are cost prohibitive. Just providing food and shelter is hard enough.
I ask myself, is what we are doing helping? Twice a year when I am in country, Kimani stays with me and eats like it's Christmas (or should I say, eats like my children and their friends in the USA). He gets a hot shower at night. He wears pajamas to bed, underwear under his pants and socks on his feet.. For 1 week, twice a year, he gets taken for medical assessment/treatment and he receives the love and attention of a mommy. But ... when he goes back he gets sick again and is just 1 out of 200 children in the family.
Is what I am able to give and do for Kimani enough? It is not. I know it is not. But I know I am being obedient. And I know that Stephen Kimani is a dearly loved son of the One True King. I know even at 11 years old, weighing just a mere 30 pounds, bloated belly, skin scarred badly from scabies, and chronically infected ears that has resulted in hearing loss, God sees Stephen Kimani and loves him. God is enough and He is able. He is a Good Father who has plans for His son, to give him hope and a future.
Won't you pray with me for God to be glorified through the healing of this child?
For the least of these,
The lab results have come back and there are 7 different parasites leaching the nutrients from Kimani's body. He will begin a new medication regime (in addition to these prescribed earlier) to rid his body of these.
This is a closeup from.the photo at top of Kimani with Paeton Outman and other team members at a local restaurant. Michelle spends extra time with Kimani on each trip to attend to his special needs.
Michelle and Kimani on a boat safari in January 2018
Michelle Outman is h.o.w? Ministry's executive director. She is a pastor/minister, missionary, and the mother of 4 children including twin sons adopted from Ethiopia. In this photo she's with Moses Ndung’u, founder and executive director at Children's Garden Home, School and Rescue Center. He's holding a ceramic plate from Michelle that features fingerprints of the children and mission participants as faces, a craft that has become a h.o.w? Ministry tradition., Children's Garden is home to 250 children, 150 of whom are boarded and another 100 who attend day school.