>> January 31, 2011
LaRae and her husband are missionaries in a Muslim country in West Africa, where they are developing a public health clinic to serve the medical needs of the people in their village. They live with occasional electricity and running water, and have a son who is 3 years old.
Our latest time-taker has been a certain little girl. She is very cute, so easily forgiven. :) It really tugs my heart because she is so small, fragile and possibly has no life in front of her.
Born to an HIV+ mother, more likely than not she has it too. We still don't know the real status of her HIV. It could be just the antibodies of her mother, or it could be the real thing. Its hard to look into her face and remember there is a silent, deadly killer in her. It is so easy to forget that her life may be abbreviated before it even gets started.
|LaRae & the baby girl|
We hope to send some of her blood up to Dakar (the capital city) by the middle of February to be tested for the real virus. In some ways I don't want to know, but it is necessary for her health and ours.
Here where we live, HIV is a fearful and hushed topic. At first it doesn't appear that HIV is very common here, unlike other African countries. But as we are here longer, we get the idea that it is definitely here, killing just the same, but no one is really facing it.
When people in our clinic are tested (this is the procedure for all clinics/hospitals here in Senegal) and they test positive, it is not recorded. All that is shows on the record is that they were tested. So, obviously you know they were positive because there is no result in their chart.
It reflects the mentality here though, "if we don't say it, don't acknowledge it - then it can't hurt us". At the same time, if a man here has HIV and continues to sleep around without informing others that he has it, he can go to prison. I'm not sure who enforces that, but it is the local law.
With all these thoughts and observations going around in my head I can't help but think of another deadly killer - SIN. We don't talk about it much, we don't like it, in some ways we are afraid of it (at least of its effects), but we also tend to act like if we just don't acknowledge it, it won't hurt us.
Sin works just like HIV, too. HIV slowly, silently kills off the immune system, opening the body to other illnesses that will eventually kill us. Sin does the same thing. It slowly, silently kills our spiritual immune system of faith, opening us up to diseases like doubt and disobedience, which eventually can kills us eternally.
And the whole time, with both killers, we can look okay on the outside or take enough medicine to fool everyone that we are healthy. Neither disease sticks to just one person, either. Both are passed from one to another, killing en masse.
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