July 30, 2015 

This morning's post comes to us from Bryan Farrar. 

Walking through the Kayole neighborhood In Nairobi is an unsettling experience. Flanked by  guards armed with AK-47s, I immediately know this is not an ideal place to visit, much less live. Trash fires burn in the dusty, unpaved streets. Children wander the streets, unable to attend school because of rampant poverty and their parent’s inability to pay the mandatory public school fees. A massive dump lies on the edge of town, in the rainy season the makeshift houses that lie only a few yards away flood daily.

Among the maze of corrugated steel and sewage, I have the opportunity to visit Jane. Jane is one of our current clients at the Kayole center. As she shared her past of abandonment, abuse and fear in hushed whispers (none of her neighbors know about her status), she began to break down and cry. Her husband who infected her with HIV, died. She’s unable to send her two children to school, unable to pay her rent, unable to work because of her health. It’s uncomfortable for me to remain in her house for the 30 minutes we spend there, not because of it’s tiny size, but because the hopelessness and shame she feels is overwhelming. For me, Jane is the face of HIV in Kayole.

Despite this grim scene, Jennifer and James, our Kayole center workers, are joyful as they visit Jane’s home. This is, after all, only her first month in the CARE for AIDS program, and their presence provides Jane’s spirit a small lift. They have seen this narrative play out time after time over the past few years. There is hope for Jane.

Through the next nine months, she’ll receive the medical, emotional and spiritual care that she needs. She’ll be a part of a community of 79 other community members, all who are going through similar circumstances who will be able to surround her with encouragement and love. We have seen time and time the impact that has on people.

While Kayole is still a rough neighborhood, we can see evidence of change. Redeemed Gospel, our local church partner, has grown, largely due to clients from CARE for AIDS. It’s in the midst of a building expansion, and will continue to be an oasis of hope to the people in the community.

Will you pray for Jane?