Tik received a phone call from a lady who had been in hospital and was ready to be taken back home. This lady, Jeab, is HIV+, has been blind for 8 years (because she failed to tell a doctor she was HIV+ , they gave her some medication for her eyes and instead of having a special type for HIV+ it ended up making her blind) and to top it all off her legs are so weak she cannot walk or even stand up. She’s about 40.

She was in the public hospital here in Phrae. It was awful. Like nothing us been updated or replaced for 50 years. Packed with people.  We were trying to get her into a wheelchair to take her out to the car. The orderly was terrible, rough handling her as if she was worthless.  We finally managed to get her into the car. She was happy to be going home.  We arrived at her home and the first thing I see is a house on a slope (when I say house, look at the photos on the blog and you’ll see we would call it a shed) with about 12 steps up to it. My first thoughts were "How are we going to carry her up that".  I asked Tik if that was Jeab’s house, she said no, it was the tiny wooden room behind this one. We borrowed a plastic chair and with Jeab’s daughter’s help, we lifted her onto the chair and the 3 of us carried her to her house through the mud and rubbish on the ground.  Her house had about 3 steps, a platform and another step to the entry. The steps are are homemade rickety things with nails sticking out. We lifted her on to the platform and she dragged herself using her arms into the house.  Her daughter lives next door with some relatives. The only help Jeab receives is from her daughter (she’s 20) when she is not at school and Tik.  She received 500 baht per month from the government to live on - that’s about $20 per month.

Jeab’s daughter then left to go back to school. Tik and I stayed for about 2 hours talking with Jeab. She is full of life and loves to talk. Very lonely most of the time. She spend day and night in her dark world without anyone else.

She explained that the night prior at the hospital there was an old lady that said she’d seen an evil spirit and was crying, disturbing everyone else’s sleep. The old lady wouldn’t get into bed.  Then Jeab asked me if I believed in evil spirits. I explained to her that I did believe they existed and but I believe there is a God who is more powerful than the evil spirits and that I am protected because I belong to Him. I asked her if she believed that there is God that is more powerful than evil spirits. She said she did.

She told me that she would like to come back reincarnated as someone like me (why anyone would want that, I don’t know!). She thinks that I have less problems, which compared to her I do. I also explained that everyone has problems in their life.  Life on earth for everyone is imperfect but I have a hope that when I die, I will go to be with God, receive a new body, no more sickness, sadness. It will be a perfect life with God forever.

On another note, she also explained to me how to make coconut oil from the coconut milk. So I’ll give that a go.

I will visit her again soon and hopefully have a further opportunity to explain the hope we can have in God through Jesus Christ.

After seeing her house and how she lives, I never want to complain about having a small space to live in.