Archive for the This Is My Brain Online Category

Peter and the Seven

Posted in This Is My Brain Online on September 18, 2008 by justinmcroberts

Peter and the Seven

I was recently in Kenya and Uganda with Compassion International and am still processing through much of what I saw, experienced etc… Now, I am not one of those bloggers who likes to communicate things that are still in process, but I just don’t see how I am going to avoid that this time around; there is too much to process. I have been familiar with the stories of (and many of the realities) of poverty before this trip to Africa, but something about the nature of the problem there struck me at an angle that has had me off balance since. Over the next few months or so, along with normal blogging activity, I will attempt to post some of these “in process” thoughts… Snapshots, if you will. It may be the only way I am going to get by head around what is going on inside it.

A snapshot from Masaka, Uganda. This is the area where the first cases of HIV/AIDS were diagnosed and reported.

We visited a man’s home this afternoon whose name is Peter. I would guess that he’s in his early 40’s but am quickly learning that Africans can look much older OR much younger than their age… So guessing at it is something of a futility.

Peter’s first wife passed away years ago and his second wife left sometime more recently. That said, he does not live alone. His home is built of mud-bricks gathered from the local red dirt and is roofed by plywood and tin. In this home, Peter cares for seven children. Of these seven children, none of them are biologically his. Three of them are HIV positive. Several of these children he cares for have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Others have simply been “abandoned” by their parents. Mercifully, four of the children he cares for are sponsored by Compassion Sponsors in the US. He was deeply thankful for the support of those sponsors to provide health, education, food and a knowledge of the Love of God through the Compassion program in Masaka.

Before we left his home, we asked if we could pray for him and, if so, what we could specifically pray for. Peter glanced around the room and then said something to the translator (Peter speaks only the local dialect (of which there are nearly 50 in Uganda, each according to ones tribe and geography). The translator paused for a moment before telling us that Peter had just asked if we would pray to God that he could live long enough to care for the children God had given him. Peter himself is HIV positive.

This is not a story; this is a life. I met this man and shook his hand. We met his children and prayed for him that he would live long enough to care for the little ones God had given him… children he called his children… Though, as I reflect on the story more, I can’t help but wonder if he is caring for my children… our children.

If you do not yet sponsor a child through Compassion International, please consider doing so by following this link.