Empowering HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Africa to a self sustainable future

Catherine Koch

Catherine Koch

Founder and President of Love Is The Answer, a Canadian registered charity serving orphaned children in Africa.

Brilliance That Never Fades



Maybe it’s due to the blazing colors I’m seeing all around me in Vancouver these days as autumn paints its glorious magic on nature’s canvas…

I’m experiencing many a moment contemplating the spectacular brilliance that seems to occur when some thing – be it a leaf in this metaphor – grows, strives towards and at some point reaches its peak, shines forth in all its glory for a time, until it begins to fade and eventually releases, floating to it’s death … the ebb, the flow, the constant changes life on earth seems to include, there are many zeniths and nadirs along all of our paths.

Watching the changing beauty outside I find I’m remembering often a boy named John, one little friend I met in Uganda. I was first introduced to John at the care center for HIV+ children where he and I played on the floor with a truck. He was moving about, smiling and joyful. I learned that day, John was an orphan who also had a rare incurable cancer and because of that, and HIV, had a very short life expectancy.

During the months I lived in Uganda I saw and visited with John several times and watched as his body, often wracked with pain, declined quickly over time. There came a day when I traveled to visit him in the mountain village where he stayed at his Uncle’s home. A friend and I had learned John was sleeping on the floor there and we wanted to help him to be comfortable, so I brought along a foam mattress, a soft cozy blanket, pillow and mosquito net for him.

As I walked around a corner on the foot path that snaked it’s way around the mountain I finally saw John. His crutch by his side, there he sat, alone and quiet, as if he was waiting. He looked up and immediately his joy was overflowing!

It was great for him to see and understand that I’d brought the comfort things for him and he was very appreciative… but it was a little heart shaped cake I handed him that he immediately held up and placed over his own heart as he smiled his gratitude at me!

John shone as bright as I ever saw him, that day! He beamed to know and to feel he was remembered, cared for, and Loved. He looked so beautiful to me and still to this day when I see this picture I took of him, when I see his smile and consider all that John was coping with – and had already coped with – in his life in that moment, I learn something more about Love and life from him, every time.

John died a few months later, around this time, a year ago. I’m not sure of the exact day. I learned about his passing, weeks after, on the 19th of November last year.

I’m sensing, given how many times I’ve thought of him these days while watching the trees change color in all their magnificence, along with the fact I’ve been moved to write about him right now, it may well be that the day he flew off to the great beyond was today, Oct 21st, 2008.

I’m honoring you John, your brilliance never fades!

I’m remembering and celebrating you!

I’m thanking and Loving you!

And I’m asking you…

… if it’s for the highest good of all, please help me find the way to return to Uganda that I may share Love with other orphaned children who are waiting today.

I Love you, Cath xo

PS… “Jali” is an 8min video I made on behalf of orphaned children. I dedicated it to the memory of Beloved John … perhaps you have a few moments to watch and honor him and all the children today ~ Thanks very much http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WIiwRxXr2M

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