Nov. 17, 2013/ Badly Burned


There are moments where your legs literally won’t take you another step. Compassion fills you and you decide whatever thing was scheduled can wait. Whatever it costs is fine. However much it hurts, it is worth it.

A friend of mine was in a village here in Burundi recently and had this very moment. As he told me about the situation, I had the same reaction. He had come upon a young, three year old boy who had tragically fallen into a cooking fire. By the time his mom came to pull him off the flames, his face had been badly burned. Perhaps burned is the wrong word. If you have ever seen someone badly burned, it looks much more like melted wax. Features just seem to melt away as a result of the heat. Sometimes the tissue, skin, and muscle are able to stay intact, other times they fall away or become infected.

The boy’s face has been burned very badly and Burundi doctors have done all that they can do. His mouth, nose, eyes and forehead are all very distorted. Some features are mostly there and others are mostly not. An area of hope is that one of his eyes is still working. The dilemma is that his eyelid is gone. Without constant care, his good eye will deteriorate.

If this story sounds a little familiar, it is because when we first moved to Burundi, our roommate had experienced a similar situation as a boy. He too had fallen into a fire and been severely disfigured. He received compassion and care from friends who helped him receive the plastic surgery and treatment he needed. He is in school now and continuing his education, able to function, has more confidence, and lives a normal life.

We want to offer this same hope to this little boy. We are looking for people who would be willing to be a friend to this precious child. Who wants to change his life forever? He needs surgery in Rwanda to reconstruct an eye lid so that he doesn’t lose sight in both eyes. There is a surgeon willing to give it his best. This initial surgery will be the first in a series of surgeries needed to allow this little guy to keep from infection and aid in functionality of his body. My best buddy in Burundi, Alex, is willing to go to Rwanda and help the young boy and the mom with travel and procedures. We want to not only invest in his physical well being, but create lasting relationships through this critical time. We simply want to be the hands and feet of Christ, as He taught us to be.

It isn’t always the easiest thing to do to care. It takes time away from other things we planned to be doing. It takes money away from other things. It weighs on our emotions. To care and have compassion, however, is worth all of these things. The boy’s mom is praying hard for a solution to all of this. I think we can play our part in being that solution. To donate, click on the donate button in this email or send check or money order with memo line “Badly Burned” to 251 West Miles Avenue Hayden, ID 83835 Attn: Ladd and Carley Serwat.

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