If you know me at all you will know that one of the most important things in my life is to inspire people with Hope. Hope is everything to me. I struggle to imagine a life with out hope. Is a life without hope really a life at all? There is a quote that I read once that really came alive for me today. “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope” Today was full of moments of great joy and hope. Moments where I struggled to hold back my tears because of the abundance of hope in family. But that same day that same family brought that quote to life for me. When people lose that Hope, something inside of them lets go of life. A little piece of you dies with out that hope alive in you.
Today we got to go visit Luis. I have heard about Luis’s story about how he had ended up on the street and had was eager to see him again after he was reintegrated about a month ago. We arrived at his house and were welcomed by all sorts of family members. Luis’ grandmother prayed for us as we arrived and shortly after cried as she explained how thankful she was to us for bringing Luis home to them. There was an amazing and overwhelming sense of hope in that moment and in the moments to come. When a child is reintegrated they usually get a bag full of new clothes a mat and blanket to take home to their families. Luis started to unpack his new clothes and show his family. I watched as his grandmothers eyes teared up again. As she hugged each of us she sobbed in gratitude. Her grandson was home. I remember sitting back and thinking that no body else in the world will ever get to understand the beauty of this moment like we see it now. How blessed and privileged I am to be able to be a part of this.
After a feast of prawns, chicken, rice and salad we started walking back to catch the ferry home. Luis’ mother asked her son to walk ahead with Sarah and I so she could speak with Luis alone. As we walked on ahead still overwhelmed by the love and hope that fulled that home, behind us a broken woman shared her hopelessness to our co-worker Luis. By the time the 3 of us were on the ferry heading back to Maputo. Our coworker shared with us that Luis’s mother was HIV positive. She had never told anyone before. She had lost all hope. She wanted to build Luis a house next to hers so that when she died he would have a place to stay. She is a healthy and beautiful looking woman yet she was living her life with out hope. Waiting to die. A life with out hope is no life at all. The news of this came like a punch in the stomach to me. To have experienced the extreme love and hope in Luis’ home and then to hear that his own mother felt none of that hope in her own life. She was living with this huge secret, a secret of a virus which is vary rarely spoken about in this country. A secret which has drained all hope from who she is.
I cried on the ferry ride home. I cried for a woman who is HIV positive. I cried for her son who has just been welcomed home into family. But most of all I cried because I saw what it was like to live with out hope.