Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Our church is doing a series call the 6:8 Project, focusing on Micah 6:8. One experience this week involves eating like the world's poor: rice, beans, oats, tap water, that's it. Next week, we will be packing food to send overseas as Feed My Starving Children will be setting up a packing line at our church. But this evening, a girl from my small group and I went to the Experience:AIDS World Vision had set up at our church.
Upon entering the gym, I was given an audio device to walk me through the tour. I got Kombo's story, which you can see here. It is a story of a small boy growing up in Kenya. His father is gone and his mother dies of AIDS. During part of the experience, I, as Kombo, walked into a "clinic" to be tested for AIDS. When the audio prompted me, I went up to a station and got my hand stamped. I got a red X, I had AIDS. My heart sank. "Snap out of it! Its just an audio tour! Its just a stupid stamp!" I thought as my heart sank. And then the reality hit...for some people, for Kombo (a real child), this was a real experience. They can't turn off the audio tour, they don't hand their headphones back at the end, they can't wash off the stamp. However unfair it may be, they have AIDS. What a heart wrenching experience! To experience my heart sink upon receiving that stamp and then the reality of experiencing it 1,000 times worse, was wrenching.
Upon exiting the exhibit, I read through the other stories and realized that the audio tour I was given was the only Kenyan child. It touched me closely because the child I sponsor, Desma, is in Kenya. Similar to Kombo, she has no memory of her father and during the time I've sponsored her, her mother has died of AIDS. It is hard to comprehend that these are real people, real lives, real situations. They happen every day, thousands of miles away. I need to 1) write to Desma more and 2) pray for her more. It is easier to remember to pray for the people I influence and see on a daily basis, but hard to remember Desma whom I've never met and lives miles away.
It was a touching experience. A quiet, relaxed, moving experience.