Monday, 19 January 2015

Small wonder

We have a little boy staying at the Jeevan Sahara Kendra.

Shall we call him Vishwas?   Vishwas is 12.  He looks like he is between 8 and 9 years old.

But his dozen years have already exposed him to more experiences of pain than many an 80-year-old.

Vishwas came to our attention when Seema (name changed too) - a first generation member of a church in Alibaug heard from her daughter in Juhu that there were two boys on the pavement outside Cooper Hospital crying.

Seema went and found out that their mother was in the hospital dying.

She died.

So Seema took the boys home.  One was Vishwas.  We will call his younger brother Bikram.  Bikram is 6.  Both were living on the street.  When their father died, a relative pushed them out of their house in Dhobi Ghat.   Now their mother was dead.

Seema tried to care for both Vishwas and Bikram.  But her other family members rebelled.  A 59 year old widow, she found her sons angry with her for bringing the boys home - especially since Vishwas was sick and thin.  His arms had sores on them.  His eyes were infected.  And then they found out he is HIV positive.

That was it.  A series of arguments ended with Seema reluctantly taking Vishwas back to the pavement - and asking a local woman to look after him.  At the same time she told the elder of her church - a fiery doctor well known to us - about her predicament and the situation Vishwas is in.

And so Vishwas was brought to a little boy.  We did not know how we were going to care for him.  He started out with us with a week of high spiking fever.  104 degrees at one point.  A lot of prayer.  A lot of love.

And soon Vishwas' smile emerged:

Vishwas has perforated ear drums so finds it hard to hear.  He has so many things going against him - but he was lapped up the love he gets at the JSK centre from all our staff and visitors.  And we have  already seen how much potential this standard 2 drop-out, this boy without a home, but this boy whom God loves so much has!

Health-wise Vishwas has recovered much.  He has gained over 2 kgs.  One of our staff brings him lunch every day from her home.  We have started him on anti-retroviral therapy.  His skin condition is a lot better than before.  His eyes have cleared up.

Vishwas loves to hear stories.  He has a children's Bible and enjoys finding out what Jesus has done.  He was recently given a stuffed toy tiger whom he called 'Karan.'  We have a volunteer who has started teaching him some basic lessons to while we try and figure out the next steps.

Vishwas needs a home.  Not an orphanage -though we thank God for our colleagues who work in the various places that care for destitute kids.  Vishwas needs to be adopted - or at least fostered.  He needs to have parents who will pour their love into some of the gaping holes in his life.  He needs models that he can see and learn how people relate to each other. How they share.  How people talk and forgive and plan and laugh and work out problems and celebrate on a limited budget.  Vishwas needs parents who will pray into his life.  Cry for him and with him.  Work hard to help rebuild his already deeply scarred life.

In short - Vishwas needs a family.

Will you pray with us that he finds one.  And finds one soon?

But in the mean-time he continues to spread joy.  As I was writing this, he came into my office with a big 'mosquito killing racket' - an electric device that looks like a tennis racket which you swing at the mozzies to knock them down with a shock.   Strangely no mosquitoes in my normally infested office!

Yesterday Sheba told me a beautiful thing.  Vishwas has been joined by 3 other folks at our JSK centre.  A woman who was in prostitution till last week - whom colleagues of ours are helping to transition to a new life - and who was quite sick and so needed stabilisation.   A mother and her daughter - both with bad TB as a result of their HIV ravaged bodies.

The daughter - we will call her Kirti - is 11 years old.

Vishwas saw that she was not eating as she does not have an appetite.  Vishwas went to her and told her that he is also sick, and that he also found it hard to eat, but that she should eat because she will get strong again.

The little girl was so touched that she ate the whole plate.

Small wonders from our small wonder.

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