I come to you very heavy hearted today. I know that since I have gotten home with the kids my posts have been short on words, but overall lighthearted and happy. That is because that is how we have been around here. Sure there are moments of stress and irritation and feeling overwhelmed, but overall, life is a joy and things are going great.
Today I am burdened for the ones I had to leave behind. The children whose faces cross my mind ever so often. I've been so busy, and life has been so good, that the majority of my thoughts of the children we met in the orphanages have been happy thoughts. Good memories of their sweet little faces. My life, while not perfect, is going well and full of happy kiddos, so way muddy all that up with unhappy thoughts of the children I am unable to bring home? Seems kind of pointless. Why cry over something I am powerless to fix? So I have been better off to put the inevitable fate of those precious children out of my mind. Until last night.
Last night I was on the internet doing some reading about HIV medications and I stumbled upon THIS link. The article address the upcoming shortage of HIV meds in Ukraine. I had heard rumblings of this on the Reeces Rainbow yahoo group, but after JUST being in Ukraine and seeing how consciencious the orphanage was about the kid's thier medications I had a hard time believing that there was about to be a shortage. The article completely opened my eyes. If you chose to read it, you might find that the claims of government corruption could not possible be to the extent that the article states. Unfortunately, I can assure you that it is. During my time in the Ukraine, I had more than one Ukrainian tell me that their country was better off under the Soviet regime because of the deep corruption that controls every government office now. It might sound fictional that their are people that can sit back and turn a blind eye while children are dying all around them, but it is true.
After reading the article I was angry. Furious to be exact. Livid to think of all the children that will be dying, largely due to evil people. The epitomy of evil. But my angry quickly melted into saddness when my thoughts turned from masses of children dying in a preventable way, to the individual faces of the children with HIV that I met, played with, got to know, and fell in love with while I was in Ukraine. They aren't simply masses of children, they are faces I know. They have names. Lori, James, Rafferty, Annabell. And they have personalities too. Sweet and playful. Rowdy and outgoing. Happy and friendly. Loving and tender.
These children, along with the many other children in these orphanages with HIV, will soon be sick without their medications. They will go from being healthy normal kiddos, to children dying of AIDS. No hope. No health. No family. And no one that has ever taught them about Jesus.
While in Ukraine I was broken hearted when I thought of the orphans who age out of the system with no family and no hope for a life or future. My heavy heartedness goes so far beyond that now. If this medication shortage continues Lori, James, Rafferty and Annabell will never even get the chance to age out of the system because they will be dead by then. It is the nature of the virus if left untreated.
All these thoughts and emotions hitting me at once last night felt like too much to bear. I can't fix the corruption in the government. The only solution is for Jesus to return. So that is what I started praying for. Lord, please come quickly.
Please join me in praying that God will move a mountain and somehow get medicaion to the children and adults who will die without it. Also, pray that God will provide families for these children who have very little long term hope for a future, even WITH medication. And pray that I won't go insane thinking about the children that I know and love getting sick. It was hard enough to say good-bye and walk away from their sweet faces when they were happy and healthy. My mind can only tip toe around thoughts of them being sick.
Also, if you would like to read/watch a little more about the fate of the children who live on the streets in Ukraine, then go here. Warning though: Some of the images and information is very hard to see. And once your eyes have been opened it is very hard to shut them again and turn away. Even if at times you want to.