Stories from the Field
I will never forget the children’s faces.
Faces like thin beautiful Joyce, an orphan. Her parents both died of AIDS and she lives with an aunt and uncle. Through her tears, as I asked her about her usual day, she said, “No one loves me and I don’t know why.” She told of her aunt and uncle putting the food on the table for supper each night for them and their 5 children. Everyone comes to the table except her. She is made to sit and watch from the living room. If there is food left over after all the family leaves the table, she can eat. Many nights there is nothing left. Her prayer request was for food and that someone would love her.
Faces like 11 year old Nelly from the Free State providence. Her father had died when she was very young. Her mother had died in 2004, probably of AIDS. She told me she lived with her grandmother. I asked her if she treated her well and she said, “Yes, my grandmother loves me very much.” Then she began to sob. Her grandmother was sick and she didn’t know where she and her sister would go if her grandmother died. Her grandmother has an open wound on her lower leg that is getting worse. It had started from a garden hoe accident. Grandma could no longer walk or fix meals. They could not afford to go to the doctor. We cried together as we prayed that her grandmother would be healed and recover.
Faces like 10 year old Thabiso. His mother had died the previous Saturday of AIDS. He didn’t have a father. The grief was very fresh but he tried to be manly and not cry. He lost that battle when he told of his mother’s pain getting worse, her going to the hospital and not coming home. He and his brothers were living with their grandmother. His prayer request was that he wouldn’t die of AIDS and that his grandmother would be able to feed him and his brothers.
I won’t stop praying for these precious children whom the world has forgotten.