One week after Kate was born, her mother died of a disease called AIDS. (AIDS is a disease that attacks a persons immune system making it hard for them to stay healthy and strong.) Her father abandoned her when her mother died. As a one week old baby, Kate became an orphan. Without a mother or father, her aunt stepped in to feed her, change her diapers, and take care of her.
This task became more difficult when two things were discovered about baby Kate. Something was wrong with the bones in her legs. Not only that, but her aunt also found out that Kate carried the HIV virus that leads to AIDS. Living in the Dominican Republic without enough money to take care of Kate’s physical problems, she had to give her up.
Her aunt took her to a government organization that eventually placed Kate in a Vision Trust orphanage. In this home, many children with the same HIV virus live with people who love God and want to serve others. At two years old, Kate arrived and it was easy to see she hadn’t had enough food to eat for quite some time. You could see her little bones tight on her skin. She couldn’t walk because of the problems with the bones in her legs.
Another obstacle to taking care of Kate concerned her speech. At the orphanage, everyone talked in Spanish, but Kate came from a different village where a tribal language that no one understood was spoken.
Kate started her life in this world with a lot of problems. She had no parents, health problems, not enough food, and language difficulties. However, with the help of others, things are beginning to change for Kate.
Through people’s gifts of time and money, Kate recently had surgery on both her legs. She is now four years old and has never walked. The doctors hope when the casts come off, she will be able to learn to walk for the first time.
Although she is behind the other children, she is slowly learning to communicate in Spanish. Her calm, sweet nature makes those who meet her fall in love with her. Kate loves to be carried around. She jokes and smiles and is constantly asking for just one more picture. At the dinner table in the orphanage when they ask for someone to pray over the meal, little Kate often raises her hand. She still can’t speak Spanish very well so she prays in her own little language.
She still has many challenges ahead, but her life is getting better. When she gets sick with just a cold, sore throat, or stomachache, the HIV virus makes things much more dangerous for her. Also, in her cast, she can get frustrated because it itches and she can’t run or walk. Still, Kate loves to dance and move with the parts of her body that do work.
God brought Kate to the VisionTrust orphanage for a reason. She gets the medicine she needs for her virus, the surgeries she needs for her legs, and the love and encouragement from people who teach her about God.
Questions for discussion:
- What would it be like if you couldn’t walk or run?
- What are some of the things that are difficult for you right now?
- Kate gets itchy and frustrated, but still is able to dance and move. How can you focus on the things you can do rather than the things you can’t do?
Fun facts about the Dominican Republic:
The flag of the Dominican Republic is the only national flag in the world to feature the image of a Bible.
Current prayer requests:
- Pray that Kate will be able to learn to walk when her casts come off.
- Pray that she will keep learning Spanish and be able to communicate better.
- For her health and strength both physically and spiritually.
Ways that you can get involved:
Thank God that you have parents, legs to run, and food to eat. Seek out someone in your community that can’t walk and spend time playing a game, reading, or doing things they like to do.
“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless;deliver them from the grasp of evil people.” Psalm 82:3-4 NLT