This is a story of a young girl, Ruth, (not her real name) with a strong will and determination to make it in life even with the difficulties she faces every day. Ruth is a student at KDS living with AIDS—her parents died from the disease. One of Kenya’s many children whose life has been devastated by AIDS, Ruth is blessed because she has an aunt and uncle that care for her and have taken her into their home.
Ruth explains that they cannot eat supper most nights because her uncle does not have a permanent job. Yet that does not bring her joy down. Ruth broke down in tears when she explained how the disease has changed her life. Most kids her own age will not play with her because they think she will infect them. She has no friends apart from those at KDS since they love her like a sister.
Ruth talked about how KDS is the better side of life and says that if KDS wasn’t there she does not know where she would be today. In her own words, “KDS is like the brother, mother, sister, father and friend I never had.” She continued on saying, “I thank Mum Ginger, Mum Jane, the sponsors and the KDS family for loving me when everybody else despised me”.
Ruth and her family certainly live in extreme poverty. The day we visited they didn’t have a meal for lunch but Ruth’s aunt was so happy to welcome us into their home. They offered water as a sign of hospitality.
Despite all of her heartbreak and impoverishment, Ruth manages a beautiful smile. When asked how she can be happy with all of the problems in her life, she said “Our God brought us into the world to be happy and to love each other. Why should I worry when the Lord is in control?”
Ruth emphasized that with humility and a kind heart…”life is possible and good”.
May we take to heart the lessons we can learn from Ruth and so many others whom the Lord has put on our path to teach us. Let us put into practice humility, love and kindness trusting in God’s goodness for our lives.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NIV