We visited the HIV slum where Evangeline was forced to live after testing positive for HIV. She was there for about a year but her disease became aggressive and she was moved to a government AIDS hospital. We don’t know if she will ever come back, but we have hope, even in the face of AIDS. CTL still provides her with medicines and supports her care, but it was sad to visit the slum and miss seeing her. My prayer is that she feels love support and God’s hand somehow in her life.
What made us equally sad was discovering what the government did to the rest of the people living in the slum, 80% of which carry the virus. They built a new building for them. A building they didn’t need and in the process covered up the only well the people had for fresh water. Now they have to walk to another part of the city to draw water- a place where they aren’t welcome. The conditions in the slum were already filthy, and this has made it worse.
The ray of hope there is the schoolteacher. She is a Christian and feels compassion for these kids. She asked me if I would remember to pray for her and for those kids. I don’t want to forget that request. I’m still thinking of those kids. They were so excited to see us, and I’m guessing they don’t get a lot of visitors. In spite of their conditions, the children laughed and smiled and one young girl sang for us- she had a powerful voice!
We took some gifts to the children there and when I saw what happened to the well I was stunned.. My first reaction was, how could the powers that be act so foolishly? I don’t know the details of why it happened, but this really affected the team, as we have ministered to the kids there and we know that more HIV positive kids will come to the orphanage from the street, and we will have to send them there. Some of the team members pooled their money and covered part of the $1000 cost of a new well. Water issues cause a high percentage of the world’s health problems. Maybe someone should inform the government.