Remembering Henry

June 26, 2009, Henry, a student at ByGrace, died at the age of seven and a half.  I haven’t written about him because I’ve been struggling with this for the past month, but it is a big part of my time in Kenya.

Henry was six when I met him at ByGrace in early October of 2008.  He stood out because of his infectious smile.  He didn’t talk much, but would smile like crazy when you asked him how he was doing or talked to him.  I would always play the teddy bear game with him, where if he got to close to me I would pick him up and put him in my lap and tell him he was my teddy bear named George and say, “I shall love you and pet you and call you George.”  He would escape and then walk by close to me so I would catch him again.

Then I started teaching computer classes in 2009.  After a few classes the preschoolers persuaded their teacher to ask me to teach them as well.  So, I would teach the five preschoolers for half an hour before the older students.  Henry was my best student.  He understood English very well and would help his classmates who didn’t know English yet.  In February, Henry went to the hospital for almost an entire month.  When he finally came back, he had lost a lot of weight, but he still had his infectious smile.  I was in Lodwar when we learned that Henry had died after some time in the hospital.  Luckily, everyone at AEE knew Henry because… he was Henry.  So, we were able to mourn together.

Henry had no parents, but ByGrace was his family.  So, I would ask that you please keep the students and teachers of ByGrace in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to deal with and mourn Henry.

Henry during Computer class:

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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