Sometimes when I stop and think about what it is that I do really, I am overwhelmed. I go through day after day witnessing situations that are unbelievable. The tremendous amount of suffering these people go through is almost too much to bare.
First thing this morning, I shared with my precious friends at the VVF center about the woman in Luke 8 who had been bleeding for twelve years. Many of these women have been leaking urine for twelve years or longer. They feel hopeless, trapped, and an increasing number are living with HIV. Kicked out of their homes they come far and wide in search of peace and a new life. This morning I urged the women to come to Jesus, and lift their hands in expectation that He can heal them. After sharing I prayed over them and we sang, "Godiya, godiya ga Allah, munkawo godiyanmu, aga bunka ya Alla." God we thank you, we thank you, we bring you praise, you are worthy of our praise!
Next I met one week old twin baby girls who are on admission in the hospital and in need of help to pay the hospital bills. The mother just died of HIV, and the father wants nothing to do with them. He has not come to see them and is living many hours away. The babies were delivered by c-section and given ARV's which will dramatically reduce their risk of HIV. The sister-in-law of the late mother has offerred to care for them. She has five children of her own, and is now graciously taking responsibility of these two.
Next is a baba who is pastoring a church up north. He brought his seventeen year daughter whose bag was already packed. In utter despair he told us that he and his wife are being threatened and receiving much trouble and stigma associated with his daughter's sickness. She is HIV+ and also being threated and shamed for having the virus. Members of the church do not want her around and are afraid of getting the virus. He was beside himself and asked us if their was anywhere we could take the girl to live. We referred them to a nearby ministry where she will stay and learn sewing skills. Unfortunately this is an all too common story of stigma, and how it tears families and communities apart.
I also saw one of my special babies with HIV who is over one year old now. He has a bad cough and his grandmother brought him to see the doctor. Why his grandmother? Because his mother died of HIV and she is now caring for him. His grandmother has five other children at home and breastfeeds her grandson like he is her own. It amazes me what these women go through.
A twelve year old boy who has been one of our clients for several years came in today and his face was downcast. When I asked him what was wrong and prodded for a while he now said that he was hungry. I gave him a little money and told him to buy some food. He is an orphan and stays with his auntie. He must fend for himself and at such a young age is given much responsibility.
God gave me His grace today to deal with each of these situations, and I am telling HIM thank you!!! Mun Gode maka domin alherinka da taimako. Thank you God for your grace and help.......