This morning’s post is by Stephanie Corrigan, a recent Impact Trip participant. As we continue our theme of watching and waiting this advent, we want to bring this client story to you from Stephanie’s perspective.
There were 4 of us traveling by foot through the slums of Kisumu, a small Kenyan fishing community. Today we would participate in ‘Home Visits’, an integral part of the CARE for AIDS program. As we walked, I began to wonder what the visits would be like and who we’d meet. Often we meet people who end up having a profound impact on our lives, but don’t realize the significance of that first meeting until the change has taken place. One such encounter was waiting for me a few yards away, inside of the home of a man named Puce.
The house was a square stone structure with no windows and a single rust-colored door. The air inside was damp, the interior sectioned off with tattered sheets flowing down to the dirt floors. Once inside I began to experience feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Before that I’d only experienced the stories of success, and hope that came along with going through the CARE for AIDS program.
A frail man clothed in a worn shirt and dirt-stained slacks emerged and introduced himself as Puce. Puce revealed to us that he was once a prominent business man who traveled as part of his job. In the midst of his busy life, he became sick for a prolonged amount of time. He eventually traveled to Dubai for treatments and it was there that Puce discovered he was HIV positive. He was immediately sent back to Kenya and fired from his job.
It was eerie to see what a successful business man had become, his former life a distant memory. He revealed that he was aware of how desperate his situation is, and that he is often overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness. He didn’t want to remain where he was, and through CARE for AIDS was beginning to see that there was hope for him. As he showed us a box full of items he’d made to sell, he spoke of his desire for a wife but was not pursuing anything because he didn’t feel capable of caring for a wife the way a man should be able to.
I will always remember Puce, a man with a kind heart and warm smile, who was willing to sacrifice his own desires for the good of others. Had CARE for AIDS not been available to him, he would not have the hope for his life that he has today. How many more people like Puce are out there, waiting for a glimmer of hope that tells them that everything is going to be ok? How many of you are on the opposite side of the spectrum, waiting for the right opportunity to act? “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18