Friday, February 9, 2007

The Disappearing Virus...

Two weeks ago Jacob and I took twelve blood tests to Lusaka. These blood tests were from the twelve chilren in the orphanage who have, at one point or another, tested positive for HIV. I think I explained the whole process in a previous blog. But the short version is that you can't trust an HIV test from a child who is less than 18 months old, because the child carries their mother's antibodies for that long. They may not actually be infected with the virus, but they could show up positive with the kind of testing that we have the ability to do on the farm. When we found out about this advanced testing in Lusaka, we decided to test all of the children to find out who was actually infected with the virus, because those that weren't were being poisoned by unneccesary medications.

Last night, we recieved the test results! Of the twelve children that were tested, two were indeterminable and had to be retested. Three came through as true positives. And SEVEN were diagnosed HIV NEGATIVE! This means that the majority of children that previously had a death sentence on their lives will be able to live long and healthy lives, especially once we are able to wean them off of the medication that they have been taking since birth. This is a huge praise! An especially awesome thing about it is that we had a set of twin boys, Bright and Bruno, who were born of an HIV positive mother. They both tested positive at birth, and because their mother was so sick, they were put into the orphanage. Sal and Renee found and rescued the dying mother and started her on HIV medications. She is now healthy and happy, still HIV Positive (as she will be for the rest of her life.) But able to live well with the help of the medications. The twin's father is still alive and the mother and father are in the process of getting married. They really wanted to take their kids out of the orphanage, but they couldn't afford the medications that the children were taking for HIV. Well...both of those twins tested negative! That means that as soon as we can get them weaned from the medication, they can go back to living with their natural mother and father. A family reunited!

I am so glad for these children and can't stop talking about the goodness of God. In a country ravaged by AIDS...7 negative tests is something to sing about!


Mom said...

Heys kids
I ran your article off for Toni Shute (Paesano) and she was so touched. There are so many people who read your articles--some have difficulty understanding the "comment" thing--but they read the blogs and love them. You are making such a difference in Africa, but you are touching so many lives here, as well. We love you both and are so proud of you.
Watch those crocodiles!!!

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah Jess...Thanks for sharing that awesome story with us! Also, thanks for putting the comments at the end of your story so that "old people" like us can leave you a comment! I have received questions from friends and supporters about how to leave you a comment! Thanks again for blessing us!! Dad S.

DaveBundy said...

Ok you guys,I am the farmer that J and J refer to and just to let you know that your children and our friends are perfectly safe.Never in the history of this 60 yrold farm has anyone been taken by a croc(cows maybe but not people.)It is such a blessing having Jacob and Jessi around.They have settled in really well and have got to know the local culture very quickly.In same cases more than us locals!!! And finally the water in the boat is not from a leak but merely rain water which Jessi didnt want to bail out!!!!


Anonymous said...

I read the "The Disappearing Virus" blog posted a few days ago and I am touched by the end of the story. It's a wonderful feeling knowing a family will unite and live happy lives one. I have not been in touch with either of you as much as I should have been but I adore the blogs you two post. I wish I could do the things you two do. :)

Much love,
Rae Ann D.

Mom said...

Jessi and Jake-
HAPPY VALENTINE DAY!! We love you and miss you! Just got awesome news from Zack--he scored a 96% on his organic chemistry exam!!! So glad you guys got your smarts from me!! LOL!! Just talked to mary ellen brown today-Dan will be in on Feb. 25 and we are going to go to the church in Follansbee to see him. He will also be in from June 8 - June 17th, so he should be able to be at your get together!! She said he is doing awesome--feels he is being called to the ministry--not sure whether missions, drug couseling or pastoring a church!! That wasn't news to us though--we knew that when he was here.
God bless and give you a great week.
Love you

tyler said...

i miss both of you.

Dad S. said...

Hey guys...we know you are busy but isn't it time for an update!!!! Hard for us to go this long without an update from the Schwertfeger Chronicles! Kinda like missing your favorite weekly series on TV or something. Be safe and blessed!