Thursday, 8 October 2015

Good bye Kim

We lost Kim yesterday.  Heaven is richer by one 14-sun-spins-old boy.

We knew it was coming.  Bro Raju from ACCEPT Bangalore had called us a number of times over the past 2 weeks.  Each time the news was grim.  The occasional silver lining was still only the lining of the dark cloud of Kim's fading away.  His little skinny body being kept alive with the love and care that our dear friends at ACCEPT in Banglore poured into him.

What do we make of it all?

We just do not have any simple answers.

But these things we know.

This boy was a precious boy.  An image-bearer of the Most High God.  Created for love and very, very special.

We also know that Kim has suffered multiple rejections in his short life.  Having seen his parents die of HIV.  Having been spurned by other relatives.  Having lived in a tiny shed, alone while his parent's siblings continued on their houses.  We know that internal damage, wounds of the heart so often and so tragically result in deep seated reactions.

Kim refused help many, many times.  

When we first met him in December 2014, we thought he would die.  He was skin and bones.  Semi-conscious.  He was brought in while we were celebrating a year of God's favour with all of our Positive Friends and their families outside the JSK Centre.  As the meeting was going on, I could see that there was someone being admitted in one of our rooms. That someone was Kim.

We have been through so much with Kim over these past 9 months.  Three times he was admitted at Jeevan Sahara.  Each time he recovered some what.  But through out the first two admissions was a deep, deep sorrow.  A withdrawn, depressed little boy who was hard to love, did not want to eat, did not want to take his medications.

But then, over time, love won out.  Especially in the last admission to JSK in May this year.  When Kim was brought in semi-conscious, we thought he would surely die, and that too within hours.  He didn't.  Rather, he pulled back to life.

Over the weeks he was with us he started to smile.  Started to eat.  Even started to talk (Kim was quite hard of hearing for much of the time).  We began discovering a new boy.  He would read the Bible and memorise verses.  He began walking and towards the end of his time with us would accompany our nurses to the house fellowship near by and then tell the verses to everyone there during the sharing time.

We were in a fix for Kim.  He is 14 and a boy and HIV positive.  No care home that we approached was willing to take him.  His relatives were a dead end.  He needed stability and love and supervision for the many meds he needed to take to stay alive.  JSK is not a liscenced home to rehabilitate children.  We are a home-based care programme - but Kim had no home.  And we are a hospital - and Kim was moving towards health but needed longer term rehabiliation.

We were so happy when ACCEPT in Bangalore took Kim in for care.  A huge amount of work to persuade Kim's uncle, with lots of prayer and finally the great day came for Kim to go.

I remember sitting next to him along with our Yohan during the Sunday evening gospel meeting we had at JSK.   We prayed with him and Yohan hugged him.   A family that had taken a special interest in Kim (partly from reading this blog) had sent a bunch of letters from their children and were praying for him every night.  So it was with much joy that we sent Kim off to his new home, a hope for a long term blessing.

Vikas, our staff member, saw Kim next when he took another boy down to ACCEPT a month or so later.  Kim was doing well.  He was loved by all.  We were so happy.

But then the news started trickling back up to us that reminded us of the old Kim.   Kim was not taking his medicines.  He was refusing food. He was becoming weak and sick.

We wished it wasn't happening, but reality bites.

When Kamal, our staff member went down to Bangalore for a conference, she confirmed what we had been hearing on the phone about this dear little boy.

Kim was surrounded by love, but was wasting away.   Kamal told us about how she saw Kim being held in the lap of a doctor and falling asleep there before being put gently back on his bed - his thin little frame at peace in sleep.   Kamal shared about how every day people would come and pray with Kim.  How Raju Mathew had asked a Maharashtrian lady from the staff to make rotis for Kim.

We contacted Kim's uncle and told him to go and meet Kim as he was in a serious condition.  Initially he was angry, stating that we were at fault.  Saying that he was sick and would not travel down south. But eventually his uncle did go and meet Kim.  He spent about an hour and then came back.  He told Raju to go through whatever final rituals needed - that he would not come back if Kim died.  He gave this in writing.

Yesterday morning Raju Mathew called me up at 7 AM.   He told me that Kim had died at 1.15 AM in the morning.  We find most of our HIV Positive Friends dying at night.  Around noon Raju and another staff took Kim's thin light body to the crematorium.   We had had a prayer time thanking God for Kim's life and the inputs our staff and others had given this precious boy.  The phone rang - it was Raju saying he had come back from the last rites.  Saying sorry that more could not be done.

When we look back over these past 9 months we see sparkles of grace through our misty eyes.   Kim could have died any number of times, in any number of places - most of which were horrible.  The fact he did not die during the times he had been admitted in government hospitals prior to coming to us was a miracle.  The fact that we saw him come back three times from the brink of death - each time growing a little more open, allowing love to shape him just that bit more - is a blessing.  We know that our loving Lord has given him new life too.

Vikas told about how when Kim would take his medicines, he always stopped to pray before swallowing the pills.  "Like David said about his own dead son" Vikas told us yesterday morning "we can say about Kim: He will not come back, but I will go and meet him."   Mahesh talked about how grateful he was that Kim's last days would be surrounded by such love, even if those who were giving the love to him felt the pangs of sorrow that their inputs into this precious boy did not end up with him recovering and playing again.

I was personally dreading telling Yohan about Kim's demise.   Yohan loved Kim very much.  We all prayed together for Kim's healing.  Yohan had encouraged Kim to eat during two of admissions that Kim had at Jeevan Sahara.  He wrote Kim 2 letters which we sent to Bangalore.

But Sheba went ahead and told Yohan the news yesterday morning itself.  As expected, and as is completely correct, Yohan cried copiously.  But he was also comforted.  Comforted with what Jesus said: I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live, even though he die.  Death forces us to face truth and hope head on.  Mum and Dad spent time praying with Yohan over the course of the morning.

We are all still processing another loss, but we are tempered in our grief by knowing, really, fully knowing that Kim died as a child of our loving Lord Jesus - and that we will meet him again when our Lord returns in glory.

Good by Kim.  God be w'ye!  We will meet again.

We will meet, we will meet, we will meet at Jesus' feet
God be with you till we meet again.

1 comment:

  1. Sad story, and your commitment and love is uplifting.