Evans: “Called to serve”
“(What) I always say is that coming together is like a call to serve.” – Evans
God reaches out to our hearts in a lot of ways. He uses His Word. He enters our thoughts. And sometimes, He compels us through people. He can use anyone. This time, He used Evans.
Evans is a volunteer Orthopedic Technician at CURE Kenya. This means he helps build appliances like prosthetics and orthotics. He’s worked with CURE for two years. Part of our ministry at CURE involves mobile clinics, where we travel to places around the country. We reach a large number of people who might otherwise not come to CURE due to a lack of finances or a lack of awareness. Evans goes on some of these mobile clinics. He measures and fits people for orthotics and measures others for prostheses.
A while back, we also went on a mobile clinic. During the clinic, Seith, another one of our ortho technicians, approached us about helping someone pay for a prosthesis. He was an adult patient, and our charitable care is usually reserved just for children. We weren’t sure that we would be able to help from our side.
However, Evans changed this for us, and for Boaz, who needed our help. He shared the story of Boaz with us.
In 2016, Boaz had a job as a security guard. One night, as he was walking home from work near some railroad tracks, carrying his paycheck earnings, some men came up to him. They mugged him, took his money, and hit him on the head. He fell down and was knocked unconscious by the blow to his head.
As Boaz lay there, a train came his way, but because he was unconscious, he couldn’t move. The train drove over his leg, amputating it in the process. He was found the next morning, bleeding and still unconscious.
After this, he went to the hospital and had the wound cared for, but he still needed a prosthesis, a way to walk. So, what did he do? He made his own!
And it was with that story from Evans that God reached into our hearts. We determined we would work on finding help with funding to treat Boaz.
We later got to ask Evans about it all. “When I came across Boaz, he was so desperate. In fact, he was even lonely at that time… He told me he’d been living in the streets… Relatives ran away from him.”
It’s not lost on us that Boaz MADE his own prosthesis. A lot of people who have had amputations might walk with crutches for a while, or maybe use a wheelchair, but not Boaz.
“When I came across it, I got shocked because I never expected my eyes to come across such,” Evans told us. “Plastic materials, wired together. I don’t know how it was connected to his shoe. So I thought, this guy needs assistance.”
This isn’t the first situation that Evans has come across where he found his heart touched with compassion. In fact, it happens often, both in CURE and on mobile clinic.
“What I always like about mobile clinic is that we always meet different patients or clients. Some are challenging, others are needy. I always feel for them.”
Evans doesn’t just do this for work. It’s his “call to serve.”
“What I love about the job, first and foremost, is the environment, and then again meeting patients with different needs and doing it with a lot of passion to bring smiles to their faces… Normally, when patients come, they always come with different needs. Others are emotionally down, others are spiritually, others are physically. CURE serves the physical needs and the spiritual needs… The hospital gives us the freedom to serve their spiritual needs and their physical needs.”
Evans also shared with us a story about a mama whose young son had a leg deformity that needed an amputation.
“The mother was really frustrated with life. She was really crying all through. I had to talk to her, talk to her all the time. I could even give her a call. I decided to book her when other babies came with the same condition. She felt so happy!”
Evans brought her for an appointment during a time when other mamas were around with kiddos who had similar conditions. Because of this, she saw what all mothers of children with disabilities need to see: they’re not alone.
Evans brought her hope through this simple but thoughtful act. The child eventually came for an amputation, but even now, Evans told us, “Anytime when she comes here, she has to call me!”
“What normally makes me happy about it is that once I’ve satisfied their needs, it’s okay.” Evans told us of his call to serve. “I always feel happy about that.”
Evans’ compassion and joy in serving comes from a very deep place inside of him. “I’m one person who normally appreciates what God has done to me,” he shared. About twenty years ago, Evans’ parents passed away. His aunt was caring for him, but the burden of caring for other family was great on her, and adding another mouth to feed was hard.
“When I come across street boys, I feel part and parcel of them,” Evans told us. “I buy them food. In 2000, I almost became one.”
For a short time and because of the struggle it was for Evans’ aunt to provide proper food and shelter, Evans would sleep at his aunt’s house, but would spend most of his time on the streets. He would go down to the lake in his town to fish for food. That was until God sent a pastor to Evans. He made friends with Evans and took him under his wing, helping him go to school and sometimes bringing him into his home to feed him.
Once he started high school, God again provided for Evans. Another one of his aunts would take him to school. “I normally say, ‘God works in His own ways,’ Evans told us. “When I joined from one (9th grade), the school where I was, the owner of the school sponsored four of us… We were sponsored up to form four (12th grade).”
“I always thank God for how far he has brought me,” Evans said. “Without Him I wouldn’t be here where I am today… I always say, ‘I’m the testimony.'”
“My life has been surrounded around the rule of four Ps: prayers, persistence, perseverance, principles. So when I’m seeing patients, I’m always feeling for them. It’s something God called us to do.”
With the help of some other donors (International School of Kenya), we were able to get the funding for Boaz’ prosthesis, and he came for the fitting. But, the day was a bit surprising. After seeing his prosthesis, Boaz wasn’t so sure about it.
“He knew the one he was going to be given was from (another place that makes prostheses),” Evans recalled. “That was the only thing he knew. His concern was that the connector between the joint and the foot would break.” Boaz’s own connector had broken on the prosthesis he had made.
“I called Seith to talk in his local language,” Evans said. Seith comes from the same tribe as Boaz, so he could speak to his heart even more closely. “There was also a barrier because of the local language,” Evans went on. “He was at the crossroads of whether to accept or not… He was really doubting, but after Seith talked to him, he changed his mind.”
As we sat talking to Boaz and one of his friends, David, during the fitting process, Boaz said, “Thank you so much CURE. Now I can walk. People cannot despise me as much as before. Continue praying for me.”
Boaz said this before his doubt came up over the connector joint, so you can only imagine the words he said after. “He was very happy and he was even sorry (for his actions),” Evans told us later.
One of Boaz’s wishes was, “I want to walk upright, not with a stick.” And let us tell you, even the first day he tried his prosthesis, he was walking stick-free!
“You will go back to Kitale and you will be a testimony to the people,” David said to him. David works at a clinic that helps meet the medical needs of street kids and was instrumental in connecting Boaz to CURE. Someone at that clinic heard about CURE’s mobile clinic, told Boaz about it, and later brought Boaz to his prosthesis fitting.
This prosthesis fitting was only the first step for Boaz. After the train accident, Boaz hasn’t been able to find a job. David shared with us that they hope to pay for two months’ rent in an apartment for Boaz, and they hope to help him start a small business.
“We were going to surprise Boaz,” David told us. Only, Boaz was sitting there as David shared with us, so the surprise might have come sooner than they’d planned!
Boaz left CURE with so much joy. “Like, I was really happy when I saw Boaz smiling. Aye! I was feeling HAPPY,” Evans told us with a huge grin.
Evans doesn’t just do a job at CURE. Jesus did a work in his life, and because of it he lives a lifestyle of service. Evans is “called to serve” and is living out that calling each and every day at CURE.