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ព័ត៌មាននិងរឿងផ្សេងៗ

Finding Life through AIDS

It was a warm summer day and Bob could hear children laughing while they played in the courtyard outside his hospital window. A deep sadness overwhelmed him. As he laid in his bed he thought about the diagnosis he had just been given: he was HIV positive.

Shock….fear…. anger burned inside of him. What would the future hold for him now? Who was he going to tell? Would his family understand or would they kick him out? And what about his friends? Would he lose his job? Thoughts of suicide entered his mind. He could end his life and that would end this nightmare, he told himself.

As these dark thoughts swirled around in his head, three young people came into the room. They talked as though they knew what HIV and AIDS were … but were not afraid. They also talked about a hope, about someone who still loved him despite his situation.

Could this be true? They listened patiently to Bob’s story, his feelings and his worries. They spoke encouragement over him. After they left they even sent him messages on his phone to say they were praying for him. Bob didn’t know who these people were, but he felt hope rising in him. Courage entered his heart again. He realized he was not alone as he faced this new challenge in his life.

____

The people who show up week after week to this infectious disease hospital to encourage HIV/AIDS patients like Bob are the staff of a small, local NGO. More than comforting patients in the face of physical suffering, they offer friendship and an eternal hope. No matter patients’ circumstances or the difficulties they face, the believers want them to know that God offers his forgiveness and grace to them freely.

This local NGO has been running for over 10 years now. They do their work with only three local staff members and cover operational costs with the donations that come in each year. The work they desire to do is more than their small team can handle, so they make it a priority to hold HIV/AIDS awareness trainings at local clubs and churches to mobilize believers to get involved. Volunteers also play a critical role as they accompany staff on hospital visits.

The team has encountered many HIV/AIDS patients like Bob who feel lonely and afraid, having lost loved ones, facing terminal diagnoses and being discriminated against by their friends. Despite the challenges of reaching out to this population, the staff knows it’s worth every effort to tell them they are known and loved—and to offer hope.

Will you pray?

• Pray for patients like Bob to encounter loving believers who can provide friendship, encouragement and the message of salvation through Christ.
• Lift up this local NGO as they invest in the lives of HIV/AIDS victims. Ask God to bless their efforts in raising awareness and developing a volunteer force from the local church.
• Pray for improved attitudes toward the HIV/AIDS community. Pray for more and more people to leave their biases and misconceptions behind to embrace this marginalized population.

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