Now that I am home I will be blogging about my past days in Africa. On the last night I asked every team member what was their most memorable moment. Here is mine:
One was when we spent the day at the Mother Theresa Orphanage in Ethiopia. This orphanage has about 400 kids with HIV. The number is staggering and a very small percentage of these children are ever adopted. It is one of the most hopeless places we visit as a mission team.
The guys played football, aka, soccer with the older boys while most of the women led the children in songs and arts and crafts. While I was working with one set of kids, Audrey cried out my name. When I turned to see what was the matter, she was trying to help a little 4 year old kid out of a ditch. He had been pushed by another child head first into this rock ditch and blood was running all down his face and onto his hand, while he cried in pain. Without thinking, I picked him up immediately and rushed him to the clinic that was on this large compound. I was with a volunteer there and she asked me if I had any open wounds. I had not even thought about that. Not once did I hesitate to not pick him up b/c he had HIV. Thankfully it never crossed my mind! However, in that moment, the danger of this virus and the threat of it scared me. I quickly realized there was no concern as I did not have an open wound, and I laid my head against his bloody head and tried calming him and comforting him. It seemed to work. Pretty soon the nurse took him and laid him on their table. He was crying as she pressed on his head. She uttered something to him in amharic and he quickly stopped crying. I was amazed as she put disinfectant on his sore and he didn't let out a peep. I myself would have been crying and carrying on. So, I asked her what she said and my heart broke with her answer. She told him, "if you keep crying, I will not help you and you will get an infection". So, no matter how hard she pressed, he did not let out a sound. You know this tiny boy wanted a Mama during this time. Someone to let him cry. Someone to kiss his wounds. Someone to reassure him he will be okay.
Most orphans NEVER have someone to pick them up when they fall, or to kiss them, or to comfort and hold them. They either go uncomforted or are hushed like this nurse did to him. I excused myself from the room as for me even, it was too painful to watch. Pretty soon, he found me in the multitude of children and grabbed my hand. He was such a quiet and shy boy that even the interpreters couldn't get him to talk, so I don't know what he thought. But he did manage to say that his head was still hurting. Then all the sudden he left with all the other children to go to lunch. He didn't look back..he just walked away. That was a sad moment for me too. I realized that they are used to visitors coming and going and never seeing them again. He didn't even bother to say good-bye. Why bother...there's no hope in it for him.
Later that night I laid awake in tears as I realized he could have had a concussion and no one looked into that chance. I was so worried. So, Simon and I prayed for him until we couldn't stay awake any longer. If you think about him, please continue to pray for him. I wish I could tell you his name. I am more than ashamed that I do not know it. He just wouldn't talk though. I completely plan to visit him in January when I return. I will let you know how that reunion goes...
Book Review -- The Hardest Peace
2 years ago