South Africa has amongst the highest number of HIV/AIDS victims in the world (5.5 million). One out of every four women between ages 20 and 29 is infected with the virus.
Let's meet a few of these folks
Rose: Although bedridden and worried about the future of her three children (ages 11, 8 and 2) currently living with their grandmother, 'Rose' (shown at left; not her real name) is amazingly optimistic, and gives much credit to the hope and spiritual encouragement offered by the Namenyi Project Hope staff. Like so many women afflicted with this debilitating disease, Rose contracted the deadly virus from her husband, who had many sexual partners, an accepted practice in the Zulu tribe of South Africa , resulting in Kwa-Zulu Natal having the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the World.
Mlungisize (pronounced Mloon-gi-see-ze) has been fighting the deadly AIDS virus since his birth 9 years ago. He's lost his parents to AIDS. In the first week in the hospice he was vomiting every day, but after regulating his diet, his digestion has stabilized. And by teaching Mlungisize some songs on my keyboard we found a way to bring a smile on his face. Sadly, he is almost paralyzed because of AIDS and so is hardly able to move his fingers along the keys. Nevertheless, we've had a fun time. His aunt, with tears in her eyes, was so relieved to see Mlungisize smiling again.
J., who is seen at left reading with Andras, has full-blown AIDS but is feeling much better and seems to be getting stronger and healthier day by day. We know that eventually his body won't be able to fight off this deadly virus, but his spirit is strong and he finds comfort when we read from the Scriptures together. Jacob’s sample illustrates how one can "rise above" the physical, emotional and spiritual pain caused by AIDS, through their belief.
T. the first white person admitted to the Hospice. "I had no idea how ill I was.First I just thought I had Tuberculosis." He has a wife, an 18-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter, and is desperate for help and counsel.
A. had been brutally abused by an alcoholic husband, had one son die in a car accident, and lost contact with the other so we are some of her only "family". "You are the only ones who truly care about me. It means so much when you come and talk with me."