lunch at La Grace

lunch at La Grace
Orphanage in Kinshasa, Congo


Monday, June 21, 2010

Good Morning Addis!

We had a good night's rest. Unfortunately Skip awoke feeling terrible. He has a headache and a slight fever. We are at 8,000 feet here in the city so he might be having altitude sickness. I left him in bed and went out on a few home visits with Mike Treadwell this morning. He is part of a larger team that services 400 adults and 750 children (called "beneficiaries") living with HIV. The beneficiary families receive medical care, free ARV medication, food assistance, school fees and other perks. He visits a few folks from the program each day. This morning we were in 3 homes. Each of the homes were found down rocky alleyways hidden between businesses, were simply one room and all were at any day going to be razed. They were constructed of tin on the exterior, had inner cardboard walls covered with newspaper and a dirt floor. The first woman we visited wanted prayer for her new marriage and for her child living with extended relatives. All of them were positive. It was explained to her that the virus can mutate (and become unresponsive to the ARV medication) between 2 positive partners if they did not use protection. She was not worried that it would happen to them. She was very grateful that we had stopped by to evaluate her health. The second home housed a women and her mother (sick in bed with TB). She wanted prayer for their health as well and for the TB culture results to come sooner than the expected 6 weeks. In the 3rd home was a bed stricken man with AIDS. He was no longer able to walk. He had a friend that would get him out of bed and take him out for fresh air (if that exists in squalor). We asked how we could pray for him and he refused. As an orthodox Christian he did not believe that we worship the same God. Our translator got into a deep spiritual conversation with him. In then end he admitted that he believed the Bible, but not some parts, including much of Romans. We had a friendly departure and he thanked us for our time together. My overall reaction was positive. It was a joy to be their homes, be a part of their lives and live out their struggles...if only for a moment. God is with us all, no matter our condition, and it was apparent that they were appreciative of the assistance they were receiving, especially the prayer. In comparison, people in Congo are living in much worse conditions.

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