A short time after entering the Sole Hope compound you are bound to notice two sweet faces that have been here for over four months. The tall, 15-year-old young man is named Aggrey. He is quite serious when you first meet him, but after a short conversation with him you will find that he has a gentle soul and he loves to learn. He also thinks he is pretty funny and loves to help the shoemakers craft Sole Hope shoes. His head is wrapped like a mummy for the time being while he heals from a horrific accident that happened when he had an epileptic seizure.
The spunky 11-year-old girl in the pillowcase dress is Getu (Gertrude). Her smile is infectious and her tiny voice loves to try out the new English she is learning every day. She is a bit bossy, with the best of intentions. Everything about Getu is girly, including her always-painted nails and her Easter hat she wears with pride nearly every day. You’ll notice her arm is always up, which is quite a miracle since her arm used to be joined to her side because of a horrific fire.
These two are not broken, just scarred. And their scars tell amazing stories of redemption. March 2014 Aggrey and Getu were brought to the Sole Hope Outreach house along with six other kids that had severe jiggers. When I bent down to look at their feet for the first time I noticed they were beautiful, they had no jiggers. I turned to the man that brought the children from deep in the village and asked with much confusion, “Why are they here? Their feet look great!” The man slowly lifted Aggrey’s hat and showed me his head that was severely burnt from his eyelid to the top of his head. It was covered with local herbs and infection. My heart ached for him. I then pointed to Getu who was curled up in a ball, covered by a blanket, pesky flies and sleeping on her grandmother’s lap. The grandmother pulled back the blanket and my stomach could hardly contain what I saw. Sweet Getu had a burn that stretched from her neck all the way down her right side. Her head was pulled to the right as her neck skin was tight, and the skin under her armpit had healed slightly, making her unable to lift her arm. The infection, local herb remedy and raw stench made my heart break for her. She had no more childhood, and she hardly had any more life left in her fragile, malnourished body.
In this moment, as I stood there looking at the helplessness of these children who came from hours away all in the name of HOPE, I knew that even though they didn’t have jiggers, even though nothing about their medical problems fell under the mission of Sole Hope, they are people with souls and lives that matter and I could not turn them away.
I am thankful to have a friend here who loves taking care of wounds. I knew I personally did not even know where to start with Getu and Aggrey, but I knew she would. Day after day I would take them to get their wounds cleaned. Eventually both kids were taken to a plastic surgery hospital in the capitol of Uganda. Aggrey can now close his eyes fully, and his head is healing nicely! Getu can now stand up straight and move both arms. They are not completely healed, and they still have their wounds dressed multiple times a week-but there is hope for Getu and Aggrey. On any given day you will see them playing on the playground in the Sole Hope compound, kicking the soccer ball, learning Bible stories and school topics in the educational room at the Outreach House or entertaining a host of guests that comes to help Sole Hope.
Such a transformation didn’t happen without much sacrifice and a high price. Through this process we have had to just trust that God will provide every step of the way. We feel a very strong need to be completely authentic with how we use the donations Sole Hope is given. People who have donated to Sole Hope, donate to help eradicate jiggers, put shoes on kids feet who have none, provide safe and life changing medical treatment from foot related diseases and give jobs to Ugandans to help fulfill all of this, just to name a few. We feel it would be unethical to use the funds for jiggers, for treating burns. But, we strongly believe that Getu and Aggrey were placed at Sole Hope for a reason. And we believe God will provide for their outstanding bills.
To date, we owe 856,000 shillings ($323) to the hospital for Getu’s plastic surgery, and 589,000 shillings ($222) for Aggrey’s surgery. We have spent 236,000 shillings ($90) on transportation to and from the hospital. The grand total we are needing to cover these costs is $635. Can you help us with a tax deductible donation? Click below
* *If donations exceed the amount for Aggrey and Getu the money will be used to further the mission of Sole Hope in Uganda through the Outreach House and allow Sole Hope to take on other special cases.
Hi Asher, was very interested to read this as we also in our TUSC organisation have had the same ethical dilemma’s – altho in my mind there is no dilemma, sometimes simple humanity has to take over from the ‘day to day’ work of our organisations. Our supporters (and we are so much smaller than you) have always been supportive in words and deeds when a child with similar problems needed extra care ……. so I really hope that you get the support that you need ……. and thankyou for this care ……. (would have replied to this from the TUSC page but seem to be blocked somehow from doing so) ……. good luck x