“Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.). So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord the one you love is sick.” John 11:1-3
This is Rakabe and her brother Yabsera. She is two. She is infected with HIV. She is a sponsor child of IAMNOT4GOTTEN MINISTRIES.
She inherited this infectious disease from her mother who was also HIV+. Her mother contracted the disease from her husband who abandoned the family after infecting them with this shadow of death. Rakabe’s mother Teshfanesh succumbed to the deadly disease last week. Though she may have lost her battle with HIV, her children march on as the Victory Song of Our Risen Lord.
I met Rakabe last November on one of my trips to Addis Ababa Ethiopia. We entered their shanty and we could feel the deadly talons of HIV hovering over Teshfanesh and Rakabe. Rakabe’s was wracked with fever. Her frail little two year old body lay there barely strong enough to lift her head. We prayed, we cried out, God said, “This will not end in death!”
The Love of Christ reached down from heaven and compelled IAMNOT4GOTTEN MINISTRIES to supply the extra nutrition that was needed for Rakabe and her brother to take the HIV medication. Teshfanesh gave her life so her children could receive the much needed medicine.
“Jesus said to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they died and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe in this?” John 11:25
“Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.””
John 11:38-44 NIV
Rakabe and her brother, Yabsera lost their mother to a deadly virus, but their story doesn’t end there, just like Lazarus’ story didn’t end with his grave clothes.
Jesus is our Victor’s Song. He is the Resurrection and the Life. The chain of destruction from this disease is broken over Rakabe and her brother. Let’s life Jesus higher. Let’s be the hands and feet of Christ.