A Hard Day

By an Alliance worker serving in Guinea

I saw him sleeping on the ground beside the road in the middle of the day, flat on his stomach, with his little legs stretched out behind him.

His arms were his pillow as the sun burned his head where he slept while the Mercedes and SUVs whizzed by, unseeing and uncaring. I drove by too.

Dying on the Street

What in the world would I do with an orphan boy, homeless, bedraggled and dirty? After all, there was a cup and a piece of bread by his head where he lay. Someone had taken care of him. 

But I slowed down, pulled over, and stopped. Of course we couldn’t keep an orphan boy, but I could at least take him to the orphanage by our house.  

I made a slow U-turn and parked across the road. But as I walked toward the boy, I realized that something wasn’t right. This was NOT a small boy needing a mom’s touch. 

The dirty, leathery feet attached to those pencil-thin legs were the size of a man’s. He looked like a victim from a World War II concentration camp. A fragile, bony skeleton dressed in clothes that were doing little to cover him. 

This was a very, very sick man looking death in the eye. I tapped his back to wake him up and asked him his name. When he opened his dry, caked, and cracked lips to speak, the effort was so painful to watch.

“Rocky” was lucid and in his right mind. Sick and unable to work, he had no place to stay and no money for medicine. He had been on the streets for three months. 

After this explanation he stretched his hand out, palm up, opened in supplication: “Can you help me?” 


He looked at me with his eyes bulging out of his sunken eye sockets. I looked back and sadly shook my head “no.” He slowly withdrew his hand and closed his tired eyes, resigned to his fate.  

I turned away and walked back to my car with tears streaming down my face.  What in the world could I do to help a homeless man [likely] dying of AIDS?


I started my car, drove a ways, and then did another slow U-turn in the middle of the road. Driving up beside the man, I got out and helped him get into the car. He was too weak to stand, neither could he walk—but together we did it.

His one hand was trying to keep his too-big pants from falling off his bones; the other hand was holding on to a filthy sheet, his only possession in the world besides the clothes on his body and the fetish around his waist.

The stench filling my nostrils was nauseating, but the pain in my heart was even more overpowering. How did he come to this? My heart was breaking for this man.

I took him to the nearby hospital and left some money with my doctor friend to take care of his needs. And then I drove home to my two-story house with a nice bed, clean sheets, and a refrigerator full of food.

It was a difficult day.

Learn More

Check out our work in Guinea.

What You Can Do

Pray for “Rocky” to find comfort, peace, and eternal life in Christ. Pray also for our field workers in Guinea, and across the world, who often meet destitute people who desperately need to know their heavenly Father cares.


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