18 November 2008


Sometimes there are weeks or days or even months where nothing EVER goes the way you plan. Sometimes I kick my heels up but then I just have to realize TIA, This Is Africa, and go on with it. Today I had every intention of being ready to head out to Mattaw by 8am and Hollie and I would really get after the container with organizing it. Violet comes at 8am and usually watches Elisha so thats when the day takes off. Well, much more important things came up. We ended up with a hand full of errands unplanned which in Africa, for some reason it takes much longer to do than it would in the States. We finally got out to the property at 10 and found baby Noah sick. He had major diarhea (sp?), hadn't eaten, and was so weak. Just as I would if Elisha was sick, all plans for the day droped. I swooped him in my arms and off we went to town. We went and got him tested for malaria and typhoid first. He was so dehydrated that they had a hard time finding a vein to draw blood. I almost passed out. I had to hold him while the nurse poked on him with a really thick needle. He was tired that he didn't cry much at first and then it came, it was so sad! Then we went to the hospital and got him tested for HIV. His mother died of aids and had nursed him the first 3 months before she passed away. We did the test then waited for about 10 min. My stomach was in knots. Everytime we do anything associated with this it brings me back to memories of Orpha. If you are new this year to keeping up with us then you probably haven't heard her story. Its one that should be told on and on. I haven't written about it on our blog so its worth posting.
When I first came to Kenya, I came with another girl Julie. After a few months we discovered one of the little girls with so many sicknesses. She was so beautiful and to sum her up in one word it would be joy. I never would have known she was suffering of aids. She was always singing and smiling. When we split up the children and interviewed them, I got to sit with her and hear her story. She talked about how much she loved to worship Jesus and read her bible. She was 12 yrs old with much ambition. When it came to medical problems, the list went on and on. I was shocked and told Julie we've got to get her tested. We found out she had taken care of her mother when she was little. She watched her mother suffer of this disease and was there at her bedside when she passed away. The stigma became real to us. When she was tested, it came back positive. The doctor put in her medical file negative because of the stigma. Now the disease that took her mom, she now had. She was in denial at first but then we took her to Eldoret and got a great nurse that had her take it and showed her the results as it showed up. The nurse was an answer to prayer as she really counseled and loved on Orpha, rather than making her another statistic and outcast. In the village due to lack of education on HIV/AIDS, people dont get tested, and if they find out they are positive its like telling you youre dead, your life is over, rather than getting treatment and prolonging your life. We later found out she had other diseases, diseases that she didnt get from her mom or on accident but were given by her uncle through abuse. We loved her through this time and held her close so often. It was during those times I felt so close to the Lord, it was as though I could feel his heartbeat while holding Orpha. Orpha was on medication and was getting better. We had high hopes. Then one day, a day that came faster than we expected, she woke up really sick. I had no idea what was happening but Julie was fully aware since she had seen the same sympotoms happen to her dad when he passed away. (not b/c of the same sickness) We decided to rush her to the hospital, an hour away. Julie drove this beat up little pick up with no lisence or insurance and I sat in the passenger side with Orpha in my lap. We prayed almost the entire way for healing. We asked her on the way "Orpha, are you saved?" "do you know Jesus?" "do you trust Him?" and in her pain, weakness, and sorrows her answer was "yes". The day we went to the hospital happend to be the day some award thing was going on at the hospital for doctors so most of them were not on duty and there were, who knows, I guess medical students on duty. When we got to the parking lot she started vomiting blood. We went in and waiting in long lines desperate for help. When we finally got some, they hooked her up to an IV. I almost threw up and had to go outside. Meanwhile Julie was inside squeezing the veins in Orphas arms so that the IV would run fluids through her. She was so dehydrated. We then got moved to a room where she was in a bed next to a man that was shot in the head. After waiting all day she was admited into the pediatric ward. That night we decided it was best to go back to the rest of our children and leave one of the mama Jane with her. Just a few hours after we left, Orpha went to be with the Lord. She told mama Jane "tell Julie and Kim I'm going now, I'm going home". The next morning we came and I can still picture going in and seeing her bed empty. We received the news and broke. Jane cried two minutes then said its ok, thats enough, we're done. That was our first awakening to the walls many Africans build emotionally. We went back and shared with the children. The Holy Spirit then led us to share the gospel during that time and many of the kids were saved! Especially her younger brother Denis. We then planned the funeral. We went to the morgue with her aunts and went through the entire process, even dressing her. We went down a back ally and bargained with several different casket makers for a casket. We bought flowers and made a program. We later found out that when someone dies with aids, you do nothing. No funeral, no closure, no burial, nothing. You just forget. The last person that had died of aids in that village, only a hand full of people came. People are so afraid of the disease that they think if you look at a person thats died of aids then you'd get it. We were determined to break this mindset. The day of the funeral we went and picked the casket and body. We rode in the back of a tiny pick up with the aunts and the casket. It was an hour away so half way through it poured rain, i mean poured. We got to the property where the funeral was and were shocked. Hundreds of people had come. The gospel was shared and more people recieved. We were at peace in knowing she was at home with the Lord and God was recieving glory. From her death and life in the Lord, many others came to know Jesus. So that brings me back to today. As I sat there with Noah flashes of taking Orpha flashed back. The results came back and he was negative! A miracle. We praise Jesus for this.
Looking at the statistics of aids and diseases on this continent I often ask, how? How do I make a difference? How does it change? Well it starts with one, and for me it started with Orpha. If I can make a difference in the life of one child, its all worth it. We're now caring for four children in our home with hiv. We pray daily that Jesus would heal them. The enemy intends to kill, steal and destroy. But when Jesus shows up on the scene He turns bad for good in ways sometimes we don't understand. Our vision in Mattaw is that we would take children that were planted in a destiny of aids, disease, poverty, and hurt and uproot them and plant them in Christ where there's hope, life, provision, wholeness and love. Isaiah 61:3 'that they would be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of His splendor'.
Thats it for today. Pray for Noah, he has malaria and is at home with us for the night. Vivian has an infection and we wanted to be able to get Noah back to good health quick. He's sleeping right now and conveniently so is Elisha which is why I'm able to write so much! He's already doing better after one dose of the medicine. Noah and Elisha were running around in their diapers earlier. Next post I'll put pictures, it was so adorable. More to come, oh and thanks for taking time to read! Much love in Jesus.


Whitney said...

Kim, this is a beautiful story of loving God's children. And just as you were crying on this side of heaven as she was leaving in sickness... I imagine Jesus and some others were waiting in anticipation for her arrival- one to complete healing. Thanks for all you do.

Joel & Hollie Dickens said...

Tough story. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to keeping up with you. (Beautiful blog colors, btw.) I'm a bit blog-challenged. Is there a way on your blog I can just "follow" through blogger?

lynn said...

Kim, thanks for sharing this beautiful story of God's love for one of His sweet children. Praying for Noah to heal quickly--thanks for your loving care of him.

vickypad said...

Thank you

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