Monday, 22 July 2013


She dissappeared from the radar two weeks ago.

We had known her for over 5 years.

These have been hard years.  We met her on the street.  Her husband used to drive and autorickshaw.  Alcohol meant they ended up living on the pavement.  He was sick.  We found out he had TB and HIV.  She was also found out to be HIV positive as was their middle child.

The initial days were good.  Her husband responded to love and care.  He even sobered up enough to start driving an auto-rickshaw again.  We were hoping that they would rent a room again and move of the street.

He went back to the bottle.  Dropped off his TB meds.  When our staff went to meet him he would look for ways to dissappear.  He died.

She found another man.  To the detriment of her kids.  We nursed the middle child back to health from his emaciated state.  Got her a new place to stay.  Brought a local church volunteer in the mix.  This elderly lady would go every day to try and meet her. 

But it all went hay-wire.  She kept after the man she wanted.  He was married.  Her kids were locked up at home for most of the day.  The neglect told.  The middle child eventually died.  Heart break for all of us.

The church volunteer stepped in and pleaded with us to have the other two kids put in protective care.  We worked hard and found a wonderful place.  The kids thrived.

She continued her affairs.  One man was put in prison.  She went regularly to meet him.  A few abortions later they had a child. 

All along our staff tried to keep contact with her.  It was hard.  Very hard. 

The man she was after eventually left his family and moved in with her.  They lived in a shack in a slum.  He was not good to her and beat her regularly.  Alcohol showed up again.

"Why is this happening to me?" she would ask our staff.  But sadly she just did not make the positive steps that our staff kept suggesting to her.

Three months ago her slum was cut off by a large wall.  To even get to her place was a challenge.  Then the rains came.

In the mean time the children's home shut down.  Her kids were transferred to new shelters.  Split up.  Her older son - a brilliant boy - ran away from his new orphanage.  He ended up back with his mother and her man.  And his new half sister. He was miserable.

We were trying to find another place for her son.

And then she dissappeared.

Gone.  No trace.  Whole family up and left.

Lost to Follow-up.

LFU is an abbreviation used in surveys when we are unable to meet a participant again.

This lady is now LFU.   Along with her bright boy.

Will we ever see her again?

She knows where we are.  But we do not know where she has gone.

What is the sum of all the hours of love put into that family?  Will we ever know??

She may be lost to us, but we do know that despite all the wrong turns she has taken in her life, she still has a good shepherd who is looking out for her.

But she needs to let Him pick her up, instead of running away from Him as she has been doing all her life.

Oh that she will change from being Lost to Follow Up - to being Lamb Found Unharmed.

Will you say a prayer for this hard-bitten woman?

And will you say a prayer for her son who we assume is with her... and her daughter who is in an orphanage?

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