We were approached by a man named Jared who has become acquainted with a senior gentleman named Andreicus. Jared felt that his friend needs a house. Knowing that we build houses for destitute, aged widows (and occasionally aged men and younger widows) he asked that we go meet and interview Andreicus to determine if he meets the criteria for a house to be built. Johnfred, John and Marty drove back into the bush and then walked the rest of the way to meet Andreicus and assess his need for a new house. We hadn't any information beforehand, so were completely unprepared for what we encountered. Andreicus came out of his "house" and greeted us with the customary handshake, and we found that he had no fingers. He had had leprosy and all of his fingers and toes are gone. We also noticed that he had an open wound on his left "hand". What he was living in could not pass for a house. When asked what he does when it rains, he said he puts a piece of polythene (polyurethane) over the place where he sleeps. He has absolutely no protection from the elements. (The above photos shows Jared next to Andreicus' house.)
We were so taken back by his dire circumstances and conditions that we stumbled through the interview: How old are you? (He doesn't know - births weren't recorded years ago.) We estimate he is in his 70s. How long have you lived here? (He thinks since 1973.)
This man is not a member of the church in Kadawa, he is what is known as a member of the community. We do not limit ministry to church members, and have several widows on our list who were recommended by the chief of the village.
In some cases houses cannot be built because of land issues. These are usually settled by having papers drawn up and appearing before the chief to have them signed and authorized. This is a fairly straight-forward procedure and can be done quickly. We will build a house for Andreicus as soon as it is possible.
MEDICAL ATTENTION and BACKGROUND OF THE CULTURE
Meanwhile, Andreicus was taken into town Monday (Oct. 24) to get medical attention for his wounded hand. Arrangements were made and at about 7 AM - his friend Jared went to his house and told him to get ready to go to the city for medical treatment. It was reported to us that Andreicus was very excited. He never would have thought something like this would happen to him! People in such dire circumstances, who have afflictions or become ill will often never get treatment. Considering Andreicus' missing fingers and toes due to leprosy, it would appear he didn't receive any medical attention that would have spared his loss and cured him, or if he did get treatment it wasn't until it was too late. Medical treatment costs money, and relatives or acquaintances wouldn't have any way to pay for treatment for him, nor would he. Help was a nonexistent option. It appears, as is often the case, that he has accepted his condition and adapted to living with it.
BUT ON MONDAY he had treatment, has been prescribed medication, and will go to a local clinic in the village to have the dressing changed regularly until the wound is healed.
An addition to his adventure was that he was able to have a good meal with Jared while in town.
We also have purchased a few pieces of clothing that will be easy for him to pull on and off (track trousers & T-shirts). We also have a blanket and mosquito net for him.
HOW HE MANAGES TO GET MONEY FOR FOOD
We later discovered that even with his extreme handicap he somehow uses his stubs of hands to chop down trees with a panga (machete) for people, and for firewood, and somehow he digs up stumps and roots. He is able to get a few shillings at a time for this. It could be that this is how he came to have the wounded "hand".
WHAT'S IN A NAME!!!
We learned this from Johnfred on the day of the interview. Andreicus' surname is Owiti (Oh wee tee). His name mean - throw away - rubbish - good for nothing. In the bible people were given specific names for specific reasons. The power of those names was so real that the people's lives and personalities were affected by what they were called. Such as Jabez; his mother named him that because she bore him in pain. He carried that name as a curse upon himself until one day he got tired of that curse; he called on God and asked Him bless him, enlarge his territory, keep him from evil and that he would cause no pain. God granted him what he requested. We declare that Andreicus is no longer OWITI - no longer a throw away or trash. We declare that he no longer sees himself that way. We call upon God on his behalf and ask Him to bless him, enlarge his territory, keep him from evil and cause no pain. We declare that he is the head and not the tail.
ALL OF WHAT IS BEING DONE FOR ANDREICUS IS DUE TO THE PROVISION OF SPONSORS - YOURSELVES! THIS MAN IS COMING INTO A PLACE OF HAVING DIGNITY AS HIS YEARS ARE ON THE WANE! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
WE TAKE SO MUCH FOR GRANTED IN OUR LIVES WITHOUT KNOWING THAT IS WHAT WE ARE DOING!
WITH MANY BLESSINGS & MUCH LOVE - JOHN AND MARTY!