This is Alan…he’s 19 years old and lives in Kenya slum.
He stays in bed 24 hours a day in a 8′ x 8′ hut (made of cow dung) and decorated in newspaper.
Two years ago he was a normal teenager playing soccer, today he can’t move anything below his chest.
If he’s ever to get out of bed again, he will need an expensive surgery that his family can’t afford (they can barely afford the $7 a month rent).
In spite of his circumstances, a radiant joy beamed from Alan’s face. He had so little, but he gave back so much.
When my 19 year old son (who is fully-functioning) took me to visit Alan last week, I noticed only 3 possessions in his hut: (1) a battery operated radio, (2) a deck of cards, and (3) a stack of books that my son had been bringing him.
Alan was reading “A Case For Faith” (by Lee Strobel). I told him I was also reading a Strobel book (his newest work of fiction titled “Ambition”) and explained that Lee is a friend of mine (what I didn’t tell Alan was that I was reading my book on my $499 iPad2). Honestly, I really didn’t say much at all. I just listened as Alan told his story, expressed thanks for our visit, and talked about his faith in being healed.
Alan described a teenager from the US who promised to raise the money for the surgery. I’ve heard a lot of people make fundraising promises before and I was pessimistic. Alan was optimistic.
I left Africa with more questions than answers (and it was my fourth trip)…but, I had a powerful observation: teenagers are making a difference in his life. My teenage son has been bringing him books, playing cards with him, talking, listening and praying. And then, there is another teenager (who I don’t know), who visited Alan last year, promised to raise money for surgery, and (I found out today) has actually fulfilled his promise. Alan now has an appointment for the surgery.
That is a case for faith!