Meet Choforo Asefa Gesho
Choforo Asefa Gesho is a 75 year-old man from Gununo Woreda. Choforo has 8 children: 4 girls and 4 boys. During his life, Choforo has experienced many challenges and difficult times, but also great deliverance. He was sobbing and full of praise when he told his story.
Choforo was an honored and well-known person in his neighborhood—a strong, diligent and hard working man. When Choforo was a child, shoes were not common in his area so he walked barefoot from one place to another whenever he went out to work on the farm, attend school, or ride horses. He woke up early and walked to the farm before the dew of the grass was gone. Stepping on the cold land, Choforo would begin work and continued all day. All his errands were done barefoot.
How it Began
He was 14 years old when various kinds of symptoms he had never seen began to appear on his body. Time and again, bulges puffed up and began growing. Believing these symptoms would go away like any other common sickness, Choforo ignored the bulges on his leg. When he was 20 years old, his ignorance turned into frustration and worry. Unusual masses and swelling in different parts of his toes and feet began growing. His normal, flat leg began to be bumpy and swollen. “What is going on?” wondered Choforo.
Challenges and Oppositions
Month after month the unusual symptoms, puffs and bulges continued to grow. Now more frustration and worry controlled the young man. Puss began to flow from his foot. This made a terrible smell and uncomfortable feeling in his body. His neighbors, some of his family, and almost everybody avoided him because of the bad smell from his body. He felt lonely and sad. Hopelessness controlled his whole life.
Choforo was forced to stop working since he could not farm or ride horses as he did before. His strength began to vanish. The strong young man who used to farm for a whole day now became tired and weak after a few minutes of walking. His leg became so large that he could no longer wear the trousers he used to wear. He had to order wider trousers to fit his big leg. Worries and questions filled Choforo’s life.
One day, Choforo heard a wonderful announcement that filled him with hope and plans. An organization that teaches and gives shoes and medicine to people who have problems with their legs would come to his area in a week. Could it be true? Choforo waited patiently and hopefully.
Lining up with the crowd of people waiting for treatment, Choforo waited for his turn to come. His new life began the day he met the workers from Mossy Foot. The workers were very kind. They first examined his feet and then washed his legs thoroughly with clean water, soap, and bleach. Then they put an ointment on his leg. They explained to him how to follow the same process so that he could continue the treatments by himself.
After being taught how to care for his feet, Choforo was given shoes that fit his big feet and ointment medicine to put on after washing with soap and soaking in bleach water. “For the first time in my life I saw such a kindness and servanthood from the Mossy Foot staff,” says Choforo filled with thankfulness.
He did what he was told carefully every day without fail. He continued cleaning his feet and wearing shoes given by the Mossy Foot Association. Improvements began to show on his body. Mosses and unwanted extra keloids began to melt away. Bad smells vanished. He continued to follow up with the Mossy Foot Association who continued giving him shoes and treatments. His leg continued to improve, his body began to rebuild its muscle, and his strength began to return. He was finally able to begin farm work again.
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