Little Pedro (not his real name) is over a year old and has been in our nutrition program for most of his short life. He came for the first time when he was just a couple of weeks old with a severe pneumonia. He was so sick that I feared he would not live through the afternoon. We quickly got him into the ambulance and he spent several days in the national hospital. Since that time, he has been a "failure to thrive" baby - a term that just means he never seems to grow no matter how much food we give him. At one point, his mom told me that her husband was sick as well, and asked that we see him. He too, had a pneumonia, but otherwise seemed healthy and strong. We recommended that he have blood work done to check for HIV - which amazingly, he did. Unfortunately, he tested positive, as did his wife and little Pedro.
The government here offers limited help for those who are HIV positive. In this case, the family needs to go to a city about 5 hours from here, where no one speaks their native Quiche. Dad is very sick now and has begun to drink heavily. Mom has a very limited understanding of her diagnosis, and at the moment is asymptomatic, which makes her less likely to fight for her family. I felt her desperation as she explained that they had no money, no food and no way of paying for a stay in another city. And who would take care of her other children? And even though the medical care is free, how will she buy diapers and food while they are in treatment? And what if her husband dies there....how will she get his body home for burial? As she spoke, I asked the Lord for wisdom. What words could I give her that would turn her eyes to her only hope at this point....Jesus? Weak words seemed so small in the face of her pain and desperation. We prayed for her, and let her know that we would continue to daily pray, and offered to help in any other way that we could. I ask for your prayers for this family as well. For we know that HE alone is the only hope that she has...
We wait in hope for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
5 weeks ago