Friday, October 5, 2007

AIDS is real!

Last week I was speaking to one of the teenagers from church, and she mentioned that her aunt was visiting. Her aunt lives in a rural area, on the family farm, and so I asked why she was here in Windhoek.

Looking around before she spoke, my friend said quietly, “She has AIDS. She came to see the doctor, but they said it’s too late even for any treatment. There’s nothing they can do for her.”

I was shocked. “But she seems so young – and she looks fine.”

My friend shrugged. “She’s in her 40s. She has three kids and all of them are HIV-positive.” She was quiet for a minute before she spoke again. “AIDS is everywhere in my family, but they don’t want to admit it.” She mentioned the name of her cousin, a girl who also goes to EBC. “Her mother died from AIDS and her younger brother is HIV-positive. But the family doesn’t care for him properly. They bought a plate and cup only for him – no one else is allowed to use them. They’re even scared of touching him sometimes. Someone needs to tell them that you can’t get HIV by touching!”

She looked frustrated as she continued, “My cousin and I have both tried to talk to our family – to tell them about HIV and AIDS. But they don’t want to listen.”

Participants in our Home Based Care Training last year:
Jogbeth is seated with the striped sweater, Kauna (After School Program Coordinator) is standing in the middle with the white t-shirt and I'm standing on the left.

These are the people that EBCAIDS (Evangelical Bible Church HIV/AIDS Ministry) wants to reach. These are the families that we need to help! Please pray for Jogbeth, our Home Based Care Coordinator, as she looks for opportunities to help this family. And please pray for my friend and her cousin.

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