For the first time since we opened our doors to Joseph just over 2½ years ago, one of our children has tested positive for HIV. Some children do better than others with going to the doctor or hospital. We remember Alex holding out his finger to be pricked to test his blood. There was no fear or tears, even after being pricked. The child who tested positive for HIV, however, is not like that. It took two people to hold the child to get a blood sample. Please pray for the child—for overall health, for the proper and necessary treatment, and for the fear of going to the doctor/hospital. We are registering the child this afternoon with the HIV/AIDS program here in Kabale. The child should be able to access medication free of charge. We test all of our children for HIV. It was important, though, to take this child to the doctor because the child had sores and one very big sore on the back. Upon seeing the child, the doctor suspected the child might be HIV-positive. The child was abandoned. We now wonder if the child was abandoned because of the HIV-positive status.
Primrose was quite disturbed—even distraught—about the news. I, however, was quite encouraged and responded with gratefulness after receiving the news. Don’t get me wrong. I am upset, too—even furious—that a child’s life is forever impacted because of the actions of irresponsible adults. I am encouraged and grateful, though, because we are here. God cares for the vulnerable—spiritually and physically—and that is the reason we are here in Uganda—to share God’s love in Christ with a lost and dying world and to give God’s love and care to those the world has discarded or to those who have been dealt hard life circumstances. Because we are here being supported by you and many others, the HIV-positive child will learn about God’s love in Christ and, prayerfully, will come to receive Christ as Savior, and will get the treatment needed to live a more normal, healthy life. The child will also be showered with lots of love and support to help deal with the HIV status/illness.
On Monday, I felt good because I had the opportunity of saving a teenager’s tooth. One of the children we sponsor for school was having immense tooth pain (been there—done that). We had her taken to the dentist. The decision was between spending $10 to pull the tooth or $60 to do a root canal. The typical African and village response is just to pull a tooth. Having had two teeth pulled in Uganda (one in 1997 and one recently) and now having to wear a denture so other teeth are not susceptible to falling out, I did not want the teenager to lose her tooth and have a gap in her mouth or to have to wear a denture. Once you pull a tooth, it is gone forever—at least, this side of heaven. (Will resurrected, spiritual bodies come with a full set of teeth?). So, this was no decision for me—save the tooth, pay an extra $50, and get a root canal.
Today, however, we are entering the opportunity to save—or, at the very least, improve—someone’s life. Talk about a purpose driven life! God, I thank you for calling us here to Kabale, Uganda, to share the gospel and disciple many, especially the children in our care and our staff, and for allowing us to minister to physical needs as well. God, I thank you for our many supporters without whom we would not be here in Uganda and the HIV-positive child, along with the other 18 children in our care, would likely not receive the care and love needed. Some of our children could have likely died without there being a place called Keirungi. “Keirungi” is Primrose’s mother’s maiden name and means, “beautiful, good.” What a beautiful thing—what a good thing—to be able to save children’s lives physically and to participate in seeing people’s lives saved eternally. Tonight, I will go to bed with a great sense that my life has real purpose and meaning.
Thank you for participating in this life-saving work with us. You should also go to bed tonight with a great sense of purpose and meaning.