Every time it rains and we’re in our home I am incredibly grateful to God for our home. Because we have a home I can shield my son from the rain. This gratefulness comes from an encounter with a single father in Ethiopia just a few short years ago.
We were serving alongside of a mission that provides HIV/AIDS care to beneficiaries in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We were on a home visit in which we visited with the beneficiary and their family, checked in on how they were doing physically and emotionally. We also provided encouragement and prayer for them if they so desired. To find a single father suffering from HIV was quite unique – most of the beneficiaries are single mothers. This man had a “home” smaller than most of our porches. He was renting it and he told us that anytime it rained the home leaked right onto the one bed he and his daughter slept in. The landlord would not allow him to fix the leak. If he did the landlord would kick him out of his home. Here was this man, with a grateful heart, seeking to care for his daughter and himself yet his hands were tied.
Every time it rains I think of this father, I think of his daughter and I think of the reality that is his life and is mine. I am grateful for a home to protect my son from the rain. I look at the walls, grateful that they stand up and that they do not leak.
We have such basic securities yet how often we take them for granted until we encounter those that do not and cannot have them.
On this World AIDS Day as we consider the pandemic that is HIV/AIDS and think about the lives that it touches and takes may we consider how God is calling us to care for, show concern towards and love those suffering. May it be a reminder that there are those in the world that not only suffer from HIV/AIDS but also from other life threatening diseases, both physical and mental. Also, may we be reminded that spiritual death is real and that we have a hope that we can offer because of Christ.