das wandern

let me continue in peace, and (stop) wander(ing)!

“I can’t tell you what he’s saying, because I don’t want you to cry.”

with 4 comments

For the last few weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Sammy.

Sammy is 14 years old. He is a complete orphan (his mother died when he was 9), and has been on the streets for the last year or so. Because of a weak immune system, he looks much younger than his 14 years, maybe 10 or 11. I got to know Sammy a few months ago, when I found him with major head injuries from being hit by a car. Through the course of many hospital visits, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. He likes to make fun of my Swahili, and how little ugali I am able to eat at meals. “Kristen, she has a problem with food,” he likes to tell the other boys.

Sammy has the most delightful giggle. He loves to dance and to draw, and is really good at football.  And he’s incredibly intelligent, and funny. When I put my arm around his shoulder, he likes to hold my hand, or make me wave ridiculously at people walking down the street.

But when he is high, he is pitiful. He is silent, and won’t look you in the eye. Any question you ask him, the answer is “nothing.” His eyes are big and full of tears, and he walks around in a complete daze.

For the last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to get Sammy enrolled in a school. His friends Sam and David (both 17) have offered to let him live with them again, and to go to the local school in Dandora. But time and time again, he runs away. Time and time again, he sniffs glue, or jet fuel and then lies about it. Every time Sam or David find gum in the house, they pour it out, but Sammy always comes back with more. But time and time again, Sam lets him come back home, and Sammy promises to change.

Last week I found him sniffing glue at his base, and I began to cry. I told him I couldn’t bear to see him like that. He called me a few hours later, and all he would say was, “Why don’t you want to see me? Why did you say don’t you want to see me?” Later that day I found him in front of my door in a pool of blood, from a deep cut to his hand. And so we began going to the hospital again every day.

Last night, I sent Sammy back to Dandora after spending a few nights on the streets. He arrived and refused to bathe. Sam told him he was sleeping outside unless he would bathe, and Sammy still refused. Around 11 p.m., Sam let him come in and sleep on the floor. This morning, Sam left Sammy at home and came with me to church. While we were there, Sam got word that Sammy had run away. I was worried sick. As we were singing, Sammy comes in and sits down next to me, immediately holding my hand. I was so relieved.

When service ended, I asked him if he had glue–if he had passed by Riverside on his way to church. He said no.

So we began walking back to town. Sammy lagged behind. When I went back to find him, I found him with glue in his pocket. Sam and I took the glue, and threw it away. He ran, and we arrived, we found him back at Riverside.

“Give me back my glue,” was all he would say. “It’s mine, I bought it, give it to me.”

Sam, Mrefu and Rasta tried to reason with him, to threaten him, to convince him he needs to stop making bad decisions. He finally spoke–a string of insults and pained resolve to stay on the streets.

I asked Sam what he was saying, and Sam looked at me for a long time.

“I can’t tell you what he’s saying, because I don’t want you to cry.”

So we left. Five minutes later, Sammy calls. “I’m sorry.”

And now, I don’t know. God has given me a love and a burden for this child. I’m not sure I could love him any more if he was my own son. And I don’t have any idea what to do next. So please, I need prayers. Prayers for wisdom, and prayers for Sammy.

Children aren’t meant to be on their own in the streets.

Written by knsayres

October 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Praying that your heart will remain soft and strong. It’s so hard to see people make bad decisions over and over again, especially when they have choices — sort of gives one a little insight into how God sees all of us.

    Bob A

    October 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

  2. I am praying for you.

    Lorretta Stembridge

    October 17, 2011 at 4:58 am

  3. Kristen,

    I was referred to your blog by a facebook friend. I have prayed for Sammy’s addiction to be broken and for him to have a heart change. I have also prayed for you to know deeply God’s provision for you, and that he would give you wisdom for this situation.

    God bless you,


    October 17, 2011 at 5:27 am

  4. Praying for strength and wisdom for Kristen and the older boys seeking to help Sammy and for the strength to follow a new life for Sammy.

    Bert Yates

    October 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

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