Friday, June 29, 2007

The Face of HIV

I just found the blog of Charles and Kristen Young, a young missionary couple Gary and I met in Swaziland last November. They are working with a great ministry called Children's Cup. Here's a recent post:

People ask me a lot, "How do you face that much sadness all the time? Doesn't it make you feel guilty? Doesn't it make you depressed? I don't think I could do it." They are right, you can't do it. Not alone. Only with God.

This week another young child at the hospital died. We had been visiting Rebecca in the hospital for months. A few weeks ago she was discharged. Then, last week, she and her mother went back. We had been visiting everyday since her readmission. It was clear that she didn't have much time left. I felt as though if I missed one day of going, I might miss her. HIV had taken over. She wasn't herself at all. Her whole personality made a drastic change. Then on Tuesday, we walked into her room to see an empty bed.

We left and went straight to her mother's house, a tiny room in a horrible neighborhood. No electricity, freezing cold, and there she was, curled up on the floor, weeping her daughters death. Mary, Zinty and I crawled onto the floor next to her, tears streaming down all of our faces, holding her and trying to comfort her. We had prayed with her and Rebecca many times before, but this was different. She needs a supernatural touch from God to get through this. She has lost 2 children now to this horrible HIV virus. Her world, as tiny as it may seem to an outsider, is all she knows and is falling apart in front of her. No one should have to watch their children suffer.

This life breaks my heart almost everyday. It rips me apart to see the suffering here. But with Christ by my side, there is no where else I would rather be right now. To hold Rebecca's mom. To pray for her. To help her in any way I can. These moments are teaching me the heart of God.

There is a song by Carrie Underwood that says,

"When life gets that much harder, it makes you that much stronger. Some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned. For every tear that had to fall from my eyes. For every day I wondered how I'd get through the night. For every change life has thrown me. I'm thankful for every break in my heart, I'm grateful for every scar. Some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned."

Please keep Rebecca's mother in your prayers.

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