This is our friend Kocho:
We met him months ago in Akuyam. He was an outcast from his family and obviously starving to death. We gave him a chapati and told him to come to the mission.
He came. We fed him and sent him for medical evaluation at our mission clinic. He was diagnosed with hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B is a very serious disease, and there is no easy or inexpensive way to treat it.
He kept coming. We gave him food, but his relatives started taking it, so Dengel Joyce – a dear sister and church member – welcomed him to come and stay with her family.
Now he was eating. The mission provided him with a large lunch each day and food for other meals. He was doing light work around the compound and taking responsibility for himself. His entire demeanor changed. He was happy! He had a new family. He walked around all day praising God. “Thank you, Jesus!” He had thought he was going to die, and was surprised to be alive.
He was a little better, but he really needed additional care. Finally, it was decided that the mission would send him to a hospital several hours away for additional treatment. The doctors there diagnosed him with both hepatitis B and type 1 diabetes. They wanted him to stay so they could try to stabilize him.
He stayed much longer than we anticipated – more than a month (and more than $100). In God’s kindness, the head nurse in Kocho’s ward was a Christian, and she was willing to help take care of him while he was there.
He finally returned to us this past Wednesday. What a shock!!
When he saw his own picture, he was amazed! He is not even the same person he was before! He is praising God and so happy!
And so are we. Many, many people have been concerned and praying for Kocho. His improvement is a wonderful testimony of God’s kindness to the entire community.
The day after he came back, Kocho was going to the clinic to discuss his ongoing needs with our staff. He climbed into the vehicle with me.
By the time we got to the clinic – just three or four minutes – something was not right. He was praising God out loud, but sweating profusely. He did not respond when I asked him, multiple times, to come with me. When he finally got out of the car, he could hardly stand.
He was rushed to a room. His blood sugar was low. The staff worked hard and he stabilized quickly.
We discussed the situation with him and thought it was under control.
Then yesterday, on a muddy afternoon, we got word that Kocho was having a problem at his home in the village. Joyce ran to investigate. It was true. I was asked to drive out to get him. In God’s mercy, the vehicle didn’t get stuck.
Kocho had fainted on the path. We loaded him into the back of the vehicle and drove straight to the clinic.
The staff once again did an excellent job. A test showed that his blood sugar was low. They tried to stabilize him with glucose, and he was regaining consciousness. The clinical officer told me that in another 30 minutes, he would have been dead.
The test was repeated after a few minutes, but it showed his blood sugar had dropped even lower. It became clear that we didn’t have the right glucose concentration. We called ahead to Tokora, the nearby hospital: did they have what we needed? They did and were standing by to help. We rushed him there.
He was quickly set up with another drip, and in just a few minutes, he was much better.
Why is this happening? Is he getting too much insulin? Not enough food? Too much physical activity? We are not completely sure. He spent last night and all day today at the clinic, where his blood sugar can be conveniently tested before he injects himself and eats.
One thing is clear. Kocho’s life is still on edge. The days that remain to him are known only to God, but they will probably not be easy.
New at Last
Please pray with us for Kocho. Pray that his condition would stabilize, and that he would be able to live a productive life. But pray most especially that he would possess and exhibit true, saving faith in Jesus Christ: that alone will bring him the blessing of eternal life. No more sin, no more diabetes, no more lonely tears – only joy forever in the presence of our Savior. What would a redeemed Kocho be like then, what shall we ourselves be!
To that weighty glory we press as we call the Karimojong to Christ.