In the days leading up to the COVID-19 epidemic, a Liberian kid of 10 years old was admitted to the Mass General Hospital in Boston.

He was found to have fibrous dysplasia, a rare bone ailment in which scar-like (fibrous) tissue grows in lieu of normal bone. This condition was identified by a medical professional.

This enormous piece of tissue had completely covered the boy’s face. It was inhibiting his capacity to breathe and making it very difficult for him to consume anything.

For tiny Samakai, the clock was ticking down to zero. Afterward, he became acquainted with Henry Peabody.

Henry is a member of the New Jersey social work community. Henry, who was born and raised in Liberia, travels there often for humanitarian reasons.

When I arrived in that nation in December 1995 during a cease-fire in the Liberian Civil War, that’s when I met Henry, who was fighting in the war. Henry had to make his way back to the Budabarram Refugee Camp in Ghana when conflict broke out for the second time in April 1996.

In subsequent years, I was able to assist him in returning to Liberia, obtaining a visa, and traveling to the United States. Henry’s enrollment in college was made possible as a result of my efforts. After some time, he received his degree from Mercer University.

Since that day, Henry has always been generous.

When he discovered the infant, he immediately phoned me and asked if it was possible for me to buy airline tickets for the youngster and his mother so that they might go to the United States. He said that he had located a physician who was willing to do the life-saving procedure on him.

Samakai had only arrived in the United States a few short weeks when the COVID-19 epidemic began. If he had arrived even one minute later, the operation may have been postponed.

Despite this, the operation was carried out as planned, and he stayed in the hospital for almost six weeks until being discharged recently.

The doctors report that the operation was a complete and utter success. Yet, despite the fact that he will have to take medicine for the rest of his life, they anticipate that he will have a typical life.

Bricks for Ricks Liberian Housing Foundation, Inc. was a nonprofit organization that I established in the year 2000. Jesse and Jessica Philipps, two missionaries, are in charge of operating two earth block-making machines that were sent to that nation by the foundation. This is one of the foundation’s most significant achievements to date.

Over fifty Liberians have worked thanks to this equipment, which is used in the construction of houses, schools, and churches. They instruct the employees on how to become disciples of Jesus as well as teach them life skills.

Quite some time ago, we collaborated with the Rotary Foundation to provide additional earth block-making equipment to the country of Peru. These machines have a price tag of $30,000 and produce earth bricks with a weight of 16 pounds that are composed of 92% earth and 8% Portland cement.

We have provided Ricks Institute in Liberia with a Mahindra Tractor that we delivered there. During the Ebola epidemic, we assisted in the construction of a church roof, the digging of wells, and the provision of food for starving people.

Having said that, I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than being able to see the possibility of a happy and healthy life being presented to this kid. My heart is warmed to learn that there are professionals in the medical field who are so knowledgeable and kind that they would offer to save the life of this kid in exchange for nothing in return for their services.

It has come to my attention that there are a great number of people in the United States who are now in need. What I’ve also learned from traveling to nations of the Third World is that when the United States experiences hardship, people who are already disadvantaged will endure much more hardship because they rely so heavily on the kindness and affection of Americans to give them a chance to survive.

Instead of merely providing individuals with enough resources to get by for a few days, I think it’s important to educate them on how to provide for themselves in the long term. Reaching out to individuals and assisting them until they are able to assist themselves is necessary at times.

It’s inevitable that there will be moments when you’ll have to go above and above for someone, doing things for them that they could never do for themselves. This person might be a nearby neighbor, a member of the same family, a total stranger, or even someone living on the other side of the world.

It’s possible that we’ll be the ones in need one day. I don’t believe it would make a difference to us where the assistance came from as long as we received it.

Walking through a series of stick hut homes that had been abandoned after being used as part of a refugee camp run by the United Nations in Virginia, Liberia, during the civil war is something that I will never forget. I’d never seen poverty like that. I was completely unaware that individuals could survive in such appalling environments.

On that day, I made the decision to assist those folks in any way, shape, or form that I could. The end outcome was the establishment of the Bricks for Ricks Foundation.

Since that time, a great number of individuals have agreed to assist them alongside me. This beautiful youngster is one of the people who have benefited from our assistance.

If you take a moment to look at yourself at this time, when so many people are without jobs and people are taking refuge in their homes, you will definitely find someone who is struggling. Will you make the choice to assist, or will you choose to look the other way and pass by?

By Anna

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