Today’s guest post comes from Sole Hope Storyteller, Sarah Harmeyer, who spent time with us in Uganda. Go HERE to read the posts from all the storytellers in one place.

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A jigger is not a chigger. There’s no way to describe the seriousness of this issue in this part of Uganda without showing you one of the faces today. The cringing and wiggling and tears from these children was just heart breaking.

<graphic language ahead> We had a jigger removal clinic today where skilled staff dug and cut out parasitic fleas that burrowed in feet and laid eggs. The sacks of eggs can be as large as a green pea. Their flesh was so raw and some rotting had begun. Tens and sometimes hundreds of jiggers are removed from a person’s feet and often their hands too.

I held this little guy while his brother was just a foot away getting his jiggers removed as well. His brother would say “waybalay” through his tears every time a painful jigger was removed. It meant “thank you” in his language. In the midst of pain, he was grateful. He knew there was hope.

That is Sole Hope. They are the only known NGO or non-profit in Uganda helping educate and treat jiggers. Others don’t want to touch it.

Sole Hope is going there. Why? Because the struggle is real.

Click on #solestories for other posts from the storytellers here with me. We were wrecked today.

(Photo by www.GarySChapman.com)

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One of my favorite things about Sole Hope is the beautifully caring and gifted Ugandan staff they have hired.

Jiggers are the tiny sand fleas that destroy bare feet in this region. There is a misconception and lack of education here. Most people are shamed publicly for having jiggers and many think they have been cursed because of something they have done. Simply outcasts.

But you know what’s powerful? Seeing someone across from you that is a fellow Ugandan. Someone that cares enough about the problem to commit their days to jigger removal clinics.

It’s the faces of Sarah, Moses, Matthew, Teddy, Paul, Peter and Prossy. These faces are ones of great care, concern and grace. The faces of hope. Sole Hope.

(Photo by www.GarySChapman.com)

Photos originally apprearing on Instagram: @sarah_harmeyer.

SarahHarmeyer[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Sarah Harmeyer[/typography]

Sarah Harmeyer is the founder of Neighbor’s Table, a concept born from her personal passion for gathering people, and her desire to get to know her own neighbors.  She has personally witnessed how lives are transformed when people gather around the table and share their stories.

Sarah set a goal to serve 500 that year, one dinner party after another. The 500th guest walked up her driveway on Thanksgiving Day.  Now three years later, more than 1600 people have celebrated at the original Neighbor’s Table.

The power of community that now regularly happens at the original Neighbor’s Table has spurred a desire to launch a movement – a love mission, if you will.  Sarah’s vision is to have tables in backyards across the US, placing them in every state by 2020.  Together, Sarah and her father are building more than custom handcrafted tables.  They are growing a Neighbor’s Table family and network worldwide.

Sarah shares her story regularly at conferences, and her Neighbor’s Table stories are shared onInstagram and Facebook.