Beautiful Friends: Annet Nakigozi
This is my beautiful friend. My beautiful 20-year-old, HIV+ friend who is learning more about the grace and love of Christ when she visits Sonrise Baby Home in Jinja, Uganda each evening. She arrives each evening at the orphanage to partake in her only meal of the day. She receives formula for her twin daughters and a meal for her son, Waiswa. Sweet Waiswa. He's 3-years-old and the girls are 7 1/2 months old. Despite having no mattress in her sticks-and-mud hut, just a wooden bedframe with slats a foot apart that she rests on each evening, Annet is one of the most beautiful people I've met. Spoken through my sweet translater, Rose; I eat on faith. God provides me with food, but when Damali is out [from the baby home] we starve. I want to work, but I am too weak, so I care for my children and rest. God is good to me. So faithful. And without complaint. Always. During my time in Uganda I met countless HIV+ folks. Countless. It certainly felt like the majority. And it breaks your heart, but Annet's story of meeting and falling in love with a man who promised to protect and care for her as she moved to a new place, hurt me. He infected her with HIV and left. Left her with a pregnancy and no knowledge that he may have passed the disease on to her. She found out at 9 months pregnant - when she was in the hospital to deliver her girls. Last night, during the bright of the day in Uganda, one of Annet's daughters passed away. They were too young to know whether she was also HIV+ or not, but it is certainly a possibility. The one thing I know for sure is that my faithful friend Annet is grieving, but praising God in her time of sorrow for a small life lived. I hope you'll join me in praying for her sweet family and the countless others in Uganda and our world experiencing loss from disease.
I haven't posted much from my trip in Uganda, mostly because I'm not entirely sure what I think of it all yet and going through my images solicits much missing of my new friends and many disorganized ideas on poverty, but I would be remiss if I didn't share Annet with you today. Pray for her as she buries her little girl and continues to eat in faith. If only we lived a life with half the faith she has in God to provide everything she needs. Sweet babies. Beautiful friend.