I’d like you to meet Dominic. I like to call him, “The Boy Who Captured My Heart”.


My first Sunday morning in Ghana started with us finishing a 12 hour overnight bus ride from Accra to the northern region. We were picked up at the bus station and given the choice, we could either take a much needed nap or attend church in a nearby (only 1 hour away) village. We chose church. We all agreed that the time for sleeping would come later.

After a wonderful time of praising God the pastor called Dominic forward and asked, “What happened to this child?” Dominic was hunched over a bit and was obviously having trouble walking.

We learned that a few days before he had been running with a stick and fell on it puncturing his abdomen near his left leg. I’m having trouble putting the words together that would really help you “see” his wound. Let me just say that it was extremely swollen, filled with pus and oozing…obviously very infected and painful.

We had no medicine with us on that Sunday morning. There was nothing we could do help his body heal. We encouraged him to keep it clean and then had to be on our way.

Dominic Penny

The earliest were able to return was Tuesday and even then only to quickly drop off antibiotics for Dominic and then head to another village.

Finally on Thursday morning we were able to hold medical clinic in Dominic’s village and spend a little more time with him. We could see that the antibiotics were helping but there was still a large amount of pus a infection in the wound. Our nurse decided to extract as much it as she could.

Medicine in a remote village in Africa is much different than medicine in the States. This fact really hit me when we had Dominic laying in the truck bed as pus was being squeezed from his wound with no pain meds or sanitary conditions. Dominic’s tears poured down his face and his body was rigid in response to the pain.

I couldn’t help but think of my own boys who are both very close to Dominic’s age. What would happen if they were playing and hurt themselves this badly? We would go the emergency room. They would have to get stitches. It would hurt but in addition to antibiotics we’d probably be prescribed something to ease the pain. In a few weeks it would be over and in a few months probably forgotten. Dominic’s recovery would not come nearly as easily.

Those were the thoughts running through my head as Dominic’s back arched in pain.

He’s such a sweet boy. He never fought us. He never cried out. We prayed as the nurse worked…that God would heal Dominic and take away his pain.

Dominic Penny tree

When finally it was over and he was bandaged up again he was back to smiling, posing for pictures and playing with his friends. Like I said, he’s a sweet boy…the boy who captured my heart.