Crocodile Attack on a 9-year-old Leads to Rejoicing

Elizabeth Bahe

A 9-year-old shepherd boy was dipping a container into the Tana River for water when a lurking crocodile thrashed out at him. The beast locked its toothy jaw onto the boy's right leg. Friends made loud noises and threw stones at the crocodile until it let go, then they dragged Shafin and the remains of his leg onto the riverbank.

Jaco Lourens and his family work with Cru in Garissa, Kenya, and were digging wells in a nearby village. Two old men came looking for the mzungu (white man) with the vehicle. They knew Shafin would die on the back of a donkey cart en route to the hospital.

The native South African agreed, driving Shafin away immediately. During the ride, the boy cried more from fear than pain. He had never been close to a white man or been in an automobile.

Shafin's leg was amputated, so his family gave him to Jaco -- Shafin was not worth much to them anymore. Nine months later, Shafin started school to learn to read and write. More than a year after the attack, he received an artificial leg as a gift. His community welcomed him back with joyous dancing and laughing.

Because of Shafin's accident, Jaco's faithful service and God's provision, many new relationships have bloomed in Shafin's community. Jaco says they are now more willing to listen to the Christians.

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