Monday, December 1, 2008
A perscription for Hope
Today i am especially thinking about a few young girls that i know in a tiny orphanage amidst the tea fields of Tigoni. For those of you who kept up with our blog and updates while we were in Kenya, you probably remember these precious girls as well.
Dianah suffers from AIDS. Her mother is dieing of AIDS and is a prostitute in the village. Her mother originally contracted AIDS from her husband, Dianah's father, as he was a successful business man. When he was discovered to be raping Dianah, he was sent to prison, leaving Dianah's family without any income. Dianah's mother found herself in a desperate situation, choosing to feed her family by selling herslef - who knows how many others have contacted the disease from her desperate source of income. Dianah and her younger brother came to the orphanage because her mother couldn't care for them within her dangerous lifestyle. Dianah often suffered in and out of tuberculosis. On one such occasion, my parents were visiting us in Kenya. We brought Dianah a chocolate milkshake and "chips" while she lay in bed sick and scared. I sat beside her, stroking her hair, praying for her, singing to her, holding her. She just cried and prayed, "God, why would you let my father do this to me?" This, is a question i have echoed for her in many prayers of anger and confusion to God since.
Grace lived with her parents in the village. They made their living by making and selling illegal and potant spirits. Desperate men were always in their home completely intoxicated with her parents and her younger sister. Who knows how many hopeless nights Grace spent helpless in the arms of one of her parents intoxicated patrons. When i met Grace, her parents were dieing of AIDS in jail, and she and her sister were at the orphanage. Grace is such a serious girl, with few smiles and a heavy burden. Yet she sings and dances to the Lord joyfully! When a teacher was telling her of the story of the woman who had been bleeding for years and reached to touch the robe of Jesus and was healed, she begged to know more. And i realized that I could never have an understanding of this story as she does.
Both Grace and Dianah are still living at the orphanage, taking medications regularly. They both are young girls of great faith in God. They both are dieing of AIDS. And these are just two. More than half of the children at the orphanage are orphaned by AIDS. This is what AIDS has done to a community, a country, a continent.
Is there still hope when death is inevitable? There is if the hope is Jesus Christ - for he is the only promise for a new life - for eternal life.
As Christians, what is our response to the global AIDS crisis? I have been unsure of how to blog today - world AIDS day. There are so many resources, so many ministries, so many movements against AIDS. Yet, how can we get involved?
You can go buy a latte - any drink you buy today and any holiday beverage you buy this season at Starbucks gives money to support the global fund through the (RED) campaign. but that's not quite enough, is it?
Look into ways you can help.
Here are some AIDS relief ministries we support:
Samaritan's Purse - Be the Virus
Compassion International International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
Blood Water Mission
Some other good ones:
World Vision - HIV and AIDS care
Agathos Foundation - ministry in SA
Buy a t-shirt to support children orphaned by AIDS
I would love to hear of more ministries that serve individuals and communities suffering from AIDS.