Monday, May 19, 2014

prayers for Jovian

I can hold babies. I can sign paperwork to commit to their care. I can humbly ask you to join us in providing for them financially even when we go months and months receiving no help. I can love them and I can promise that before they leave our care, if they are old enough, they will learn about Jesus. If they aren't old enough to comprehend, they will at least feel His love. I can fight for them. I can protect them. But oh, y'all, when we start to investigate their stories, this is where it becomes too much. I want to go to the nearest corner, curl up in the fetal position and just hide there until I'm noticed. One of our newest children, Jovian, is 3. We are referred abandoned children all the time and we always say, "I can't imagine what his/her little life has seen." It's one thing for us to imagine the trauma but another thing to know. To hear the words straight from the lips of family - the ones that are supposed to love and care for them.

Jovian's father was burned alive for stealing. That's unfortunately very common here - the police do nothing to it's a vigilante thing. His mother was "disappointed" in this so she took him to live with his Auntie who is also HIV+ with two HIV+ children. She couldn't stand another positive child in her home so she took him to the grandfather. His grandfather, refusing to raise another child that might turn out like his father, left Jovian to starve. Alone. To starve. At 3 years old. A good samaritan found him and took him to the step-grandmother who is also HIV+ and faints at times for no reason. Fearing she couldn't adequately care for him, she brought him to the authorities who placed him with us. He arrived severely malnourished and it was as if his legs could not hold him up. We started the refeeding process and his body rejected any and all food. He slowly accepted formula and when he was stable we took him to be tested, were told he is HIV+ and sat stunned in the clinic for 3 hours as the clerks played on their phones and chatted amongst themselves. We were literally holding a child that was dying right before our eyes. When you try to show any sense of urgency, your file will be placed at the bottom of the pile.

We are excited to share with you that this same little boy is responding so well to formula, some foods, and the ARVs (drugs used to suppress the HIV virus). We can see God, on a minute-by-minute basis, redeeming His life. He can now play with other children and not spend all day withering away in one spot. These pictures were taken 5 days apart and we can not wait to see God has in store for this precious boy.

Would you take some time today to praise God for His healing power, to pray for Jovian, and to ask God how He might have you join us in caring for the children in our care?

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