Sunday, July 18, 2010
This is Shamin. I want to share her story because it is typical of many people here.
First, let me give you a little background. Our team works with Manna Ministries here in Kampala. They go into a slum area and the community itself picks about 50 people/families who are the poorest of the poor. Those people receive food for about a six month period as well as hear the Gospel. Our friend Douglas has been ministering to Shamin for the last six months and on the day that we went to deliver our Home Care buckets he asked us all to visit Shamin.
Shamin is living with her extended family now. We all gathered into her room which was relatively larger than most homes in the slum. We all found a spot on one of the three beds in the room. Douglas asked her to tell us her story but she was too emotional. So this is the story that he related.
Shamin has just recently become a believer. She was Muslim before and her family still is. She is also HIV postive along with three of her children, one of which just recently died. Having HIV carries a big stigma here and anyone having it is usually shunned. Shamin has it so she mostly lives out her life in her bedroom. Her son was in the bed while we were there and he is not doing well either. No one comes to see her and even her family ignores her most of the time. Shamin does not feel well enough not to go out very often, so like the lepers in Bible-times she is separated from the community. Being a believer has not helped her with her family. That is another offense she has committed.
Douglas had wanted us to visit her so that we could encourage her and show her the love of the Lord. He also wanted her family to see that we could visit her and touch her and hug her and visit with her and that it was ok. Shamin was encouraged and she was so happy to have someone to come and tell her that she is still valuable and that God does indeed love her. It certainly doesn't feel that way to her much any more. We told her that we would pray for her and ask our churches at home to pray also. That,too, was encouraging.
There are many others like Shamin. While the statistics for HIV/AIDs was down for a while, it has started to rise again. Please join us in our prayers for Shamin and the many others in the same situation.