I just talked to E. She and C are in the states for a couple of weeks' vacation before heading back to Goma over the weekend. We had a fun conversation, talking about how things are in Goma, their work, and what the next steps are to bringing healing to that broken city. There are sad things, too. My friend Eva's uncle got shot last Thursday at his home. I'm not going to guess why.
One of the things that E told me is that Olivier is not doing well. They don't know if it's the medicine or what, but, she said, "he is losing his mind." They will go to the doctor next week to see what can be done. He needs prayers.
My heart broke into a thousand pieces all over again when I heard that. (For new readers, you can read Olivier's story here. Please read it.) It's not unexpected; I guess drugs can only do so much to help a child who's living with Stage III HIV.
Things should be better for Olivier. He's living with a family. C and E made sure his school fees are paid. E fought tooth and nail to get him on one of the 65 doses of ARV's available for children in Goma.
But he runs away from school. And his body is breaking down.
E asked me to write him a letter over email that she could read to him. So I will do that. And send some of the pictures he took with my camera in August. And I'm going to find a way to take up a long overdue sponsorship for him so that the family he's living with can afford to buy the special foods he needs to eat to make the anti-retrovirals work.
But Olivier needs your prayers. And his city needs peace. There are thousands of children like him there who have nobody and nothing. If you'd like to help a kid like Olivier, $100 a year provides for school in a local, church-based sponsorship program. Thanks to the generosity of volunteers who donate their administrative skills, 100% of your donation goes directly to the child you sponsor.