The Only Thing She Has
But one day, Elizabeth’s husband began to lose weight and grow progressively weaker. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Sadly, Elizabeth discovered that she too was now HIV+. Mercifully, the children had been spared.
After her husband’s death, it was impossible for Elizabeth to stay in her village. The disease that had made her a widow had also made her a victim of the villagers’ fears and ostracism. Rejected by her community, she was forced to migrate to Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum.
Elizabeth and her three children joined the one billion people in the world today—one in every six—who live as squatters in places like Kibera—places without clean water, adequate sanitation, or formal schooling or medical care.
By God’s providence, Elizabeth stumbled onto the Church of Galilaya, a church founded in Kibera. Pastor Fred, who lives in Kibera and serves as a volunteer pastor, gave the family shelter in the church.
Although the dirt floor was cold and often wet and the family had little privacy, they were giddy with gratitude.
Elizabeth began teaching in Galilaya’s Bible club. On the small stipend she received, she eventually moved her family into a small house inside Kibera.
But all Elizabeth could afford was a tiny, dark room that ran partially underground. When it rained, the dirt floor flooded so badly that the family had to empty out the water with tin cans.
As Elizabeth’s health began to decline, International Needs Kenya stepped in. IN staff helped the family find and pay for better accommodations. They secured a sponsor for nine-year-old Sandra. And they enrolled Elizabeth in Fadhili, a weekly group run by Rev. Judy Mbugua that offers emotional, spiritual, and financial support to AIDS-affected women.
Elizabeth’s two sons, sixteen-year-old James and twelve-year-old Tony, are still awaiting sponsors and Elizabeth has endured continuous setbacks. And yet she perseveres, continuing to volunteer as a children’s teacher at the Galilaya Bible Club.
“I don’t have anything to give these children except to show them the love of God,” says Elizabeth. “Most are vulnerable children, and only the Word of God can change them. It is the only thing that can keep them free.”
With the time and talents she has been given, Elizabeth chooses to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the children at the Galilaya Bible club. Praise the Lord for His faithful servants in Kenya!
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