Sunday, April 4, 2010
We spent the day in the valley having meetings with the Chief and his people. We were trying to sort out who was going to move into the children's home that we have built. It was a very long and drawn out process.
We took the boys with us and they spent most of their time playing in the dirt and being boys. Joe found some Zulu beads that were hidden in the dirt. He was very excited about his "treasure". He collected them and put them in a bottle top. They were just beads, dirty, mucky beads but to Joe they were treasures.
There are times that I feel like these beads. Discarded, forgotten, dirty and not really any use to any one.
And then God reminds me of who I really am. Underneath the dirt and muck the beads were really very pretty. They could still be used. All that they need is for some one to take them and love them, clean them and use them.
This past week has been one of the most emotionally and spiritually draining weeks of my life. I spent most of me week feeling like I was smacking my head against a brick wall.
A while ago I met a girl called Rita. Rita is from Mozambique and she has full blown AIDS. When she came from Moz she was on ARV's and her AIDS was being controlled. her CD4 count was ok and her health was not too bad. Her ARV's ran out on January 10th. She had her I.D and passport stolen and because of this the hospitals would not let her get her medication.
Her health started to go down hill very fast and there was nothing that she could do. The hospitals just turned her away and sent her back to the homeless shelter to die. I had to do some thing but I just didn't know what. I started by praying. And God gave me the peace and determination that made me push. And let me tell you, I pushed like NEVER before. There had to be a way to get Rita the help that she needed. The hospitals were telling me that there was no way that they could help her but God was telling me that He would make a way.
I made phone calls. I called every person that I knew that had anything to do with the health department. They all told me the same thing. No way could she get the medication that she needed with out the I.D. To get a new I.D would take months. If Rita does not get the medication then she will die before the I.D is ready. That is how sick she is. She doesn't have months left if she doesn't have ARV's.
I have a friend called Regina who told me of a lady called Ann who works for McCords hospital and she had said that she will get Rita the CD4 count for Free and get her her ARV's for free!!!! THANK YOU GOD!
So Thursday morning Rita and I went to McCords and met with Ann and a social worker. They made some phone calls and got us into the TB hospital. We then went there and got a TB test and chest x-ray done. We waited for 7 1/2 hours for the results.
Now for those of you who have never spent time in a public African hospital let me give you a quick description. This was a TB/ communicable disease hospital. The majority of people in SA that have TB have it because they are HIV+. So here I am sitting in a waiting room with 100's of people who are dying. I am the only white face and every one is staring at me. They are staring even harder when Rita collapses on my lap and sleeps for the full 7 1/2 hours. Every one is coughing, many are crying. Babies are screaming, nurses are running around and here I am in the middle of it all trying to make head or tail of what I have to do to get Rita seen.
We took a trip to the bathroom and I was amazed that there were no toilet seats, toilet paper or soap to wash your hands. Its a communicable disease hospital and there are none of these things!! NUTS! I started to get paranoid that I was going to leave the place as one of the patients! Worried that I was going to get sick.
So after our 7 1/2 hour wait we were called in to see the doctor..........TB NEGATIVE! Praise God.
By the time we got the results it was too late to get the CD4 count done so on Tuesday we get to go back to the hospital and get that done.
To be honest I hated every moment sitting in that hospital. I hated that I had had to battle against the health department just to get some help for a dying woman. I hate how she is seen as a no one all because of where she comes from, all because she has no money.
But I know that God is cleaning me, polishing me and using me. I know that He placed me in Rita's life for this very purpose. With out me sticking it out and fighting on her behalf she will die. That is a scary thought. I feel 100% unworthy of this calling. I'm not worthy, bottom line. But He needs me to do this. He needs me to stick it out. He needs me to care when no one else does.
This week He told me that I am His treasure, but so is RITA. She is His daughter, His baby, the apple of His eye. And He needs me to help her to see that.
"I'll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road. I'll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances. I'll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables— Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." Isaiah 45:1