Raphael is a client at the CARE for AIDS center in Huruma, Nairobi. We met him during a home visit in March of this year, and his story stuck with us.
When Raphael was diagnosed as HIV-positive, he immediately sought counsel from a local pastor. Unfortunately, the pastor he found was uneducated about HIV/AIDS, and used situations like Raphael's to make money and take advantage of people's faith. The pastor demanded payment before praying over Raphael, so Raphael sold his television- his family's most costly posession- to get enough cash. When he returned with 3,000 shillings, the pastor agreed to pray over his sickness, and when the prayers were done, the pastor brought a fake clinician to the church to test Raphael again- the fake test came back negative, but Raphael was far from healed.
As Raphael's health continued to decline, he began seeking help elsewhere. When he was introduced to the CARE for AIDS program, his wife warned him not to get involved with a church again- it was a church that scammed him the first time he sought healing- but Raphael held onto his hope that this church would be different.
He joined the CARE for AIDS program at Huruma Kenya Assemblies of God (K.A.G.), and has now been in the program for four months. He finds comfort in his weekly meetings with Jacob and Jennifer, the spiritual and health counselors at the center. He has learned how to make cakes through the economic empowerment seminars, and is excited to earn some capital so he can start a small baking business to support his family.
Raphael's faith has been rekindled, and he now attends church each week at Huruma K.A.G., and his prayer is that his wife will also give faith another chance. We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with you to change the lives and futures of men like Raphael, and we are excited to see him continue to heal and grow over the next five months of the program.