He came in the door yesterday morning.
"I was sent to you by the pastor."
A small plastic bag held some medical papers, an x-ray and a small slip of paper - his HIV report.
'Reactive' for HIV-1.
Diarrheoa on and off for the past few months. Cough and fever. Loss of weight. 30 kgs now (though he is a small man).
His name - a common one - an allusion to the gods.
His face - one of many. The current face of AIDS.
His family. A young wife and 3 children. The youngest just 3 months old.
We have made contact. Now comes the hard part.
Talking through what the disease means. Working to see if his wife has HIV as well. If so, testing the children as well.
Looking at the progression in this dear man's body. Talking hope in the midst of decay. Looking for steps that can me taken forward.
Each life is so precious.
We have just gotten to know this man. We are about to get to know his family. How long will our relationship last? Will we be able to stabilise him? Will he suddenly move away - shift back to his village in distant UP? Will he plunge into alcohol?
Or will he make steps that last for eternity?
His life may not be much longer - a few months perhaps - or it may stretch into years...
We are humbled to be part of this dear man's story.