A Tender Heart
June 28th, 2016 by Cathi Lindsey
I’ve been in love since the very 1st day I heard his story and laid eyes on him. Francis’ story is heartbreaking, but it tells of God’s ability and immeasurable grace that brings beauty out of ashes.
When Francis was brought to House of Hope in 2010, he was bruised, broken, hungry and scared. His father was killed by cattle raiders when he was very young, and he and his sister were being raised by his mother in their village. They were left alone at home while their mother went in search for food to feed her starving family. Two babies left alone is never good, no matter what country you live in. His sister couldn’t stop crying from hunger, and Francis knew he had to do something. Acting out of his tender heart, he went to a nearby hut and stole some food to give to his sister. When his mother returned, she was told that Francis stole from another villager. This brought shame to her. In Kenyan culture, stealing is punishable with severe beatings or death. There are no police. There are no attorneys. There are no judges or juries.
Keeping with cultural customs, Francis’ mother decided to teach him a lesson by tying him to a tree and severely beating him – almost to his death. After countless hits, he was missing nearly all of his teeth and his little head and body were bloody and bruised. Then she left him to die.
Thomas, the Director at House of Hope learned about what happened to Francis, and he and Steve Kasha, Founder of SERV International, made the decision to quickly rescue him and bring him to House of Hope (HoH) with a team in October 2010. He was so shy and embarrassed to laugh with his friends, as he only had 1 tooth remaining in the front of his broken, wounded smile. The HoH family quickly welcomed him with open arms and hearts, and he started to learn about the extravagant love of God for the first time in his life.
Fast forward six years to today: Francis is healthy, happy, full of life and smiles all the time with almost all of his beautiful teeth. All but 1 tooth has grown back, and he is no longer embarrassed to smile, laugh and play with his new family. He is doing well in school and wants to be a pilot when he grows up. He is learning to be a man of God and a growing leader in his community. None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the loving staff at House of Hope.
Consider making a difference in the life of a child. The reward is eternal, and it feels great knowing there is a person who now has a future because of a small donation and a lot of love from someone in the States. My prayers continually go up in grateful obedience to the One who’s truth has set all of us, especially Francis, free.
Cathi Lindsey, Donor Relations/SERV International