Thursday, January 13, 2011


Next we visited Catherine, a mother of 2 living with HIV.  Her children are also infected.

Again, I can't tell you what an honor it was to be warmly welcomed to these homes, to be invited in to their lives.

Here is an excerpt from Micah-

Catherine has been married twice. Her first husband was unfaithful and became infected with AIDS. He then infected Catherine, they had a child who became infected, and when she became sick, he left her. She remarried to an infected man and he died shortly after they had a daughter together who is also infected. She has been denied help because of her status combined with a heart condition. Doctors tell her to rest, but she needs to provide for her family. This agitates the infection in her chest affecting her heart. She has also fallen through the cracks of two non government organizations. Two weeks ago, she and her daughter were bed ridden and she nearly died. Fortress Mission was able to help. Yesterday she looked stronger than ever before and won't have to worry about food for a long time.

That night as we debriefed the day, someone on our team asked a question that I'd been thinking silently all day long. 

When Catherine passes away, what will happen to her children?

HIV is a thief.  It steals health and life, and ravages families, communities, entire nations of people.

When parents die, what does happen to the children?  When these children are also sick- what then?

We can see the power of community- that extended family, or even a neighbor, can care for an orphaned child.  But that isn't always possible.  And when it is, these children are still at risk to be neglected or exploited.

Over and over and over again as I walked the muddy paths through these crowded communities I wondered- what will happen to these children?

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