ASIA – Gospel for Asia’s (GFA) ministry partners continued their tradition of educating and assisting people in Asia about the pervasive problem of HIV and AIDS on World AIDS Day.
GFA-supported workers use the annual December 1 day of observation as an opportunity to make people aware of the dangerous disease and to minister to those who have contracted it, often through no fault of their own.
Over the years, local churches led by GFA-supported pastors have held classes and sponsored rallies and parades, all intended ultimately to stave off the spread of the disease.
An AIDS Awareness Program at a village near a tea plantation was among the many World AIDS Day events conducted across South Asia this year. This is the first time one of these programs had been arranged in this particular village. This is significant because the people living in there have had no clear understanding of the dangers of either HIV or AIDS.
The villagers responded with gratitude. One gentleman explained that he was “extremely happy” that the GFA-supported workers taught them “about new diseases and how to prevent ourselves from them.”
Another team of Gospel for Asia-supported workers visited an orphanage in the heart of the Himalayas. The orphanage is privately owned and operated by a gentleman who does not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus. Nonetheless, he invited the local GFA-supported Women’s Fellowship to visit and care for the children, each of whom is a congenital HIV victim from a non-Christian background.
Ninety percent of the children in the home have no living parents. All of them have suffered discrimination because of their illness, often being shut out of family, school and society in general.
The Women’s Fellowship team visited the children on December 2, telling them that “the Lord Jesus has taught us to love others, and we have come here to show our love with a small gift.”
One orphan explained,
“I desire to live in my own village, like others, but I cannot live there because I have no parents, and no one wants to keep me in village—even my own uncle due to my disease. I am happy here because I [now] have parents’ love from my teachers in this home.”
“I am happy here because my teachers love us like our own father and mother. I did not get such love from my own grandma and uncle and aunt, but my teachers are showing me here.”
Those same young people were thankful for the gifts of winter clothing from the ladies in the Women’s Fellowship, recognizing the love of Jesus expressed by their visit. Each time the children wear their new, warm woolen caps, socks and mufflers, they will remember the visit from the women and how they shared the love of Jesus.
These are only two of the many events GFA partners actuated on World Aids Day. In another touching ceremony in South Asia, local believers in a church led by a GFA-supported pastor ministered to one of their own women whose husband had died from AIDS. She is now infected and is supporting three children. You may wish to join the church members and GFA-supported workers who are praying for this woman’s strength and healing. That way, you too will be an enduring part of the World AIDS Day outreach.
To read more news on HIV and AIDS on Missions Box, go here.
Sources: Gospel for Asia Field Reports, Official Website