June 24, 2016
This morning's post is a journal entry from CARE for AIDS supporter Kylie White.
Just when we thought we were done with home visits for the day, a man came up to us as we walked out of the slums and back towards the church smiling and calling to Samson, the spiritual counselor. He wanted us to come to his home.
Stanley was a tall lean man, 36 years old living in a small room. His wife and two children live in the up country where she has a salon. He found work in security in Mombasa, so they currently live apart, just visiting each other time to time so they can both earn a wage. Stanley learned he was positive in 2004 before marrying his wife, when his factory employer then tested all employees.
"I thought my world had come to an end, I panicked" he explained. He said after that he tried to forget about it so he wouldn't carry the weight of it every day. But after meeting his soon to be wife, he knew he needed to share his status with her before getting married. She was HIV positive as well, so they got married in 2006 and had their first child.
He started to share with us how a friend of his had introduced him to Samson (the Spiritual Counselor at the CARE for AIDS center in Mombasa) and how excited he was to have a brother to talk to about his AIDS journey. We asked him his hopes for the program, since he is only now 1 month in. He shared that he hopes to move forward in his walk with the Lord, since he had rarely been to church before. He said he is glad he will learn how to take his medicine and nutrition properly and that he is thankful for the opportunity to share his struggles and receive spiritual counseling from Samson.
We told Stanley how proud we were of him, as a man, to take the stand to get help and be vulnerable in counseling. He expressed that he still hasn't shared his status with friends and neighbors, but he knows this program will give him the courage to live positively. I am prayerful that God will take a man like Stanley and encourage Kenyan men to rise up and get help and healing, and that the best place to find that is the program in the local church, the light of the world.