The Boy in the Market – The Rest of the Story
The evening after our encounter with the Boy, Richard and I discussed if there was more we could have done. Should we have tried to take him to a hospital emergency room? We decided there was probably nothing we could have accomplished that day. I went back to America a few weeks later. But with Richard, the Boy was never far from his mind. In the fall Richard made several trips to the Ho market in search of the child. Finally he located him, the Boy was laying on the ground eating a donut, still in the same desperate condition. Richard summoned a Police Officer, who told him to call Social Welfare. Richard went directly to the Social Welfare office and told the Social Worker about the child’s condition. The Social Worker stated “he’s one of many and we have no place to put him”. Not willing to accept that, Richard demanded to speak to the Director of Social Welfare, that gentleman stated the same response. Richard sent a request out to other organizations, church groups and orphanages with no results.
Time marched on into 2015. We both often wonder how the Boy in the Market was surviving on the street. In February of 2015, Richard was telling the story to a Deacon and fellow church members at St. Michael’s in Tsito. During that discussion, the Deacon said he knew of that Boy and knew his family. The next day Richard and the Deacon went into the city of Ho in search of the Boy’s family. They found an Auntie who stated that the family loves the Boy and his name is “Michael”. He was 17 years old and that when he was 4 years old he had a seizure which caused brain damaged, limiting his mental capacity to speak and function. The family was extremely poor, living in a small mud hut with 5 other children. Michael would not stay still, he was always moving. With no community or government support, the child was left to wander the streets.
Richard brought this information to the Social Welfare office. He asked them to start a file for Michael‘s possible placement in a facility, if one could be found. Richard helped Social Welfare with the case file, then they went and interviewed the family who were open to any ideas to help their child. Richard continued to pressure Social Welfare to come up with a solution. Richard emphasized that Michael was “not one of many” that he was one child!!
I will let Richard finish the story. “After finding Michael, then his family, things then went cold. Brother Michael returned from America shortly after Easter. He told me of a Children’s home that he planned to visit while in Ghana, the place was called In My Father’s House. On faith we went and met the owner of the children’s village, Father Joseph, a Catholic Priest from Italy. I told him Michael’s story. By the Grace of God he accepted Michael. It was as if it was all ending as it originally started, for it was Brother Michael who identified the boy in the market and it was he who also knew where the children’s village was. In My Fathers House has been a blessing to the children of Ghana for 40 years. They are one of the very few children’s homes that will accept special needs children. The home requires a family member to live with the child. I was there the day The Boy in the Market arrived, he was accompanied to the home by one of his family members who revealed his name, which was of all names, Michael. At that moment I could do nothing but cry and the boy could do nothing but smile. Today the Boy in the Market is safe and thriving, not by any thanks to myself or Michael Barry, but it was only by Faith and in Faith everyone joined together as one body in Christ, to include our brothers and sisters who were praying from home. May we continue to step together in Faith when all hope seems lost. God Bless you.”