I knew a little girl up in the Mae Hong Son area whose parents had both died of AIDS. She was placed in the care of her grandparents but when it became known that she was HIV positive, out of fear her grandparents made her sleep on a small porch, just outside of their simple bamboo house. At this point she was only six years old. She washed her own clothes; Monday to Friday wore her browning school uniform but daily wore the stigma of one with HIV.
The details of her story from that point on are not for the weak of heart. Upon meeting her you would never know the pain that she’s experienced. And she is just one – one of too, too many afflicted by AIDS/HIV.
The Thai-yai are very much affected by AIDS/HIV and the problem is only growing. Lack of education regarding STDs and other health issues and lifestyle practices certainly contribute to the problem, as do the lies and fear that spread through gossip and social channels.
Recently on Facebook, a friend posted this story about a six year old boy named A-Long who is also an AIDS orphan in China. I highly recommend reading through the article when you have a chance. A-Long’s story is one that could be repeated hundreds of thousands of times over in any location in Asia.
I strongly believe that it’s in these kinds of stories that we as the body of Christ can have a huge opportunity to do that which the communities that surround children like these fail to do. We can love these children, these victims of AIDS/HIV with the love of Christ.
We can love them because He first loved us (1 John 4:10). We can literally and figuratively embrace them. We can love them, and their families and support them and help educate their communities so that fear no longer reigns. We can partner with national believers and learn how to help children such as A-Long, as well as their families.
The little girl I mentioned earlier in this post doesn’t stand alone anymore. Some Thai-yai believers and a small ministry reached out to her and her grandparents many years ago now and are providing emotional support, a little bit of finances to help cover her school expenses, and, most importantly, love.
Please pray for:
- The victims of AIDS/HIV in Asia and among the Thai-yai people.
- Believers to overcome their own fears about AIDS and to break through the cultural norms and live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ among those who are victims of AIDS.
- Missions organisations, ministries and missionaries involved in this type of work to learn from national believers so that they can know how best to help and love those who need it so very much.
- The body of Christ to grow in Asia – including among the outcasts, the sick and the unlovable.