The following is a story of a client written by our staff member Robert Mwangi:
Richard is a man that I met last year in our Gachie Center. He is 47 years of age married to Ann and blessed with three children: two boys and a girl. The first born is Jackson aged 22 and has finished his high school and working as a casual labour. Second born is Doris girl and aged 20 and in high school final year and the last born is Denis 11 years and in class five. Richard works as a security guard in nigh shifts. He lives within the Gachie location while his wife and children leave in the upcountry.
When Richard was joining our program he was very weak in his health and he was very down. Also he was not a born again Christian. The first time I met Richard was a day I was standing in for the medical counselor in the center and when he came he was very weak and was under TB medication. He was unable to stand on his own and was unable to even walk without support. Some of his friends had supported him to the center on their way to the hospital. We responded to him and we assisted them with transport to the nearby clinic and he was attended to and was given first aid and they referred him to a bigger hospital. We realized that he did not have even the transport to the hospital and even the money to pay for his medication and treatment. We worked with the center staff and we were able to provide him with transport and even some money for his transport.
The following week I followed up with the center staff and informed me that he was treated and discharged and that he could now walk to the center and back home. A few weeks down the line he fell sick again and he was admitted to the hospital. We also intervened to the issue and we assisted him with some help to cater for his medication again. Later he was discharged and went back home. He recovered from the TB and he started healing. I met with him later and he could not hide his joy for the assistance we gave him for those two instances. I also came to learn for the center staff that he gave his life to Jesus when he came back from the hospital and this was as a result of the love we shown him when he was in need. He said that he had not experienced such love before form people that are not even of his family. He confessed the were it not for the intervention of the program he could be dead, because he did not have money to get him to hospital and no one was willing to lead him some money for his treatment.
A few months later I sat down with him and he still could not hide his joy for the support that he has gotten from the program. Since he was staying alone in the house he did not adhere well to the medication and he could not eat well so it made it hard for him to balance the food and the medication requirement. This had caused his health to grow worse. But when he came to our program he was taught how to eat well and adhere to the medication and this was very helpful to him. He also made many friends in the program because before then he was not able to come out in the open and talk of his HIV status. When he joined the program He found many men and women who are living like him and they are not shying telling their story.
After he gave his life to Christ he was now able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and now he is sharing the same to his friends and the family when he gets time to do that. His also a strong member of a Bible based church in the area and he volunteers in the church activities. Now he is a proud man in Jesus and he can lead his family in the value of God. He says that some of the things he is proud of as he left the center are good health, a family of believers, finding more people who are HIV positive and friends, learning how to save his money, and last but not least accepting Christ and learning the ways of God.
I met him last week at our one-year follow up event and he told me that he will live to tell the goodness of the Lord to the people and he will always pray and thank God for providing a center near him that rescued his life. He looked very strong and very ready to move on with his life.