We all love to hear happy stories. Especially when a person has been terribly ill and is now so much better.
Its heart-breaking when that person relapses back to their previous situation. Mr. Bali, for example. We first met him when he was at death's door. A long-term alcoholic, he lived in a shack 50 meters from our clinic. He was HIV positive and dying from TB.
Our JSK team got him started on TB treatment, nursed him back to health, fed him, talked and prayed with him. And amazingly he pulled through. He stopped drinking. Started walking. Got a job as a security guard. Things were rosy.
They are not anymore. Mr. Bali is back to the bottle. Our staff try to meet him, but he is nowhere to be found. When they do find him, they can hardly talk to him as he is in a drunken stupor.
He is still walking, but how long?
Our staff feel like they have been kicked in the gut. No happy, happy tales at this point. But they continue to try and meet Mr. Bali. We continue to pray that somehow he will listen to the still small voice to God speaking to him. We keep trying to reach out to Mr. Bali - with the hope that he will listen.
Listen and not drown out the voice with another plastic packet of country liquor.
Listen and act, making real steps forward into hope. Again.