3. Felix Okinyi Odhiambo 9 months

Risper Akoth, 25 years, woke up one morning in January 2015, to prepare breakfast for her and he husband. She was full of joy, knowing that she had a life in her as her baby turned assuring her of happier days ahead. That afternoon, her water broke and she was rushed to hospital to receive a bouncing baby boy. What her and her husband anticipated was met with dead silence as they didn’t expect their third born son would be born different and with a congenital deformity. Having two older siblings of 7 years and 3 years both girls, they were shocked to see their baby brother, asked so many questions about his rare condition but still love him dearly. Rispers’ wonderful doctors and midwife assured the young couple that they shouldn’t worry or get scared of how he looked because it was a common occurrence and it could be corrected with reconstructive surgery. As they left the hospital, their biggest worry was what others would say when they came home to pay celebrate the birth of a new member in the family. But the couple stood firm in prayer and in faith and said, “Everything that happened, happened because it was God’s plan”. To their surprise, many would give their encouragement and when they saw a poster of the surgical mission being circulated in Migori County, they had hope and knew that it was not only their son who had that condition and that he would be okay.

For Risper, the future is bright for her son. She states that, “I want to help my son, protect him, bring him up in a way that honors God,” she continues after his successful surgery, “ I want to be able to show him what was done to him at a young age and tech him that it is always good to help others.”  As she looks down on his sleeping child, one hand placed on his chest like a gesture to makes sure he is still breathing, she reiterates that, “I pray that he grows up to be good, we are waiting to go home and praise God”. She looks up satisfied smiling back at me.