Can you imagine living all alone in this house? Not only are you all alone but you are also HIV positive and very sick. This is the home where I visited Mr. Lungu along with a few caregivers. He is basically taking care of himself. His mother tries to come and visit once a day on her way home from work but the rest of the time he is all alone. He has to cook for himself and he could barely sit up.
We received 15 BGR(Baptist Global Response) buckets to give out to the terminally ill in this compound of Lusaka. For the last few years, BGR has sent nearly 5,000 of these "buckets of love" to many different countries in Africa. We are so thankful that Zambia has received some of these to give out to those who are terminally ill. AIDS/HIV is spreading throughout Africa like a wildfire! Yes, ARV's are available to some, which prolongs the persons life but because the patient feels better they remain sexually active which just spreads the disease more.
What are inside these buckets? There is more than you can imagine! These buckets come filled with medical and hygiene supplies to help those who are terminally ill. These items will make the caregivers tasks much easier and will ease the suffering of the ones affected by the illness. Things such as: bed sheets, towel and washcloth, mattress protector, socks, straws, q-tips, medical gloves, scrubbing gloves, scrub brush, nail clippers, lip balm, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, and vaseline.
The pleasure of lying on clean sheets and putting lip balm on cracked lips can make a life changing difference to some people.
We not only give them the bucket which will help them physically but we take the opportunity to share the gospel with them as well. Mr. Lungu is a Jehovah's Witness. While sharing the gospel with him he admitted that he had never repented of his sins. When giving him the opportunity to do that he said, "no." He was very thankful for the bucket and didn't mind us praying for him but did not want to pray to receive Christ. Please pray for Mr. Lungu to make this important decision to follow Christ before it is too late.
This is Josephine sitting on the floor with her aunt (sitting on the couch) who is taking care of her. Josephine lived out in a rural area of Zambia with her 7 year old daughter. She is HIV positive and also has TB. When her daughter had to get up during the night to help her she realized it was time for her to move to Lusaka and stay with family. She went to stay with one relative but she did not receive enough food which is very important when you are on ARV's. So she left there and went to her aunts house. Now she is being well taking care of. You can't tell by the pictures but it is very dark inside. There were only two windows in this room and they were each the size of about 5x7. Yes, that is very small especially considering this woman has TB. As we were about to pray for Josephine her aunt asked for prayer too because she is not well either. She took off her chitenge(a wrap) and showed us what looked like her colon outside of her body wrapped in a plastic bag. We could not believe it! She told us that back in 1985 she had this surgery and she had been like that since. The doctor back then told her she may survive for 5 years if she would keep it very clean. It is now 2012 and she is still living. Amazing!! I have found a doctor who is willing to see this woman for free if she will just agree to let me take her. She said she must sit down with her family to see if that is what she should do. Please pray for this family to make the right decision!
Esther and Beatrice walking through the compound to deliver a bucket to a man in need.
This is just one of the many trash pits that we passed in the compound. These pits are about 12 feet deep and people dump their trash in it. Imagine how dangerous this is during the rainy season.
This is Mr. Chanda who had a stroke a few years ago. He is now paralyzed in both legs and in one arm. He had to be carried into the living room to visit with us. He was in good spirits and seemed like he would be fun to be around despite his condition. He led a rough life so I imagine he was also HIV positive but he did not tell us if he was or not.
This relative was excited about receiving the gloves though. He put them on right away and began clipping Mr. Chanda's toenails.
When asked what he believed about how someone got to heaven he replied, "when you die you just sleep in the ground." Very sad!
This little boy wanted me to take his picture. There were probably about 5 little kids running around the house. Please pray for Mr. Lungu's family as they take care of him along with their own family.
This is Faith, a little one month little girl living in this home. I always enjoy getting a chance to hold a baby!
All together we gave out 4 buckets last week and two other caregivers gave out 2. Later this week we will try to deliver some more. Please pray that God would prepare the way for us to minister to these people who are terminally ill. Pray that if they do not know Jesus that they will by the time we leave.
For more information on BGR and how your church can help with packing these buckets and sending them to Africa just click Baptist Global Response in my sidebar.
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11