An Incredible Hope

Chang received the worst news of his life at an infectious disease hospital. Through friendship with local believers, he also found an incredible hope.

3 Minute Read

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

Shock, fear and anger burned inside of him. “What will the future hold for me now?” he wondered. “Who am I going to tell? Will my family understand or will they kick me out? And what about my friends? Will I lose my 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 they 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 Chang’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. Chang 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.

Comforting Patients With Friendship and Hope

The people who show up week after week to this infectious disease hospital to encourage HIV/AIDS patients like Chang are the staff of a small, local NGO (non-government organization) in East Asia.

More than comforting patients in the face of physical suffering, they offer friendship and an eternal hope. No matter the 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 working in the community for many years. 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 trainings for HIV/AIDS awareness at local clubs and churches to mobilize believers to get involved. Volunteers also play a critical role as they accompany staff on hospital visits.

More than comforting patients in the face of physical suffering, they offer friendship and an eternal hope. No matter the patients’ circumstances or the difficulties they face, the believers want them to know that God offers his forgiveness and grace to them freely.

The team has encountered many HIV/AIDS patients like Chang 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 these patients they are known and loved—and thus to offer hope.

Ways to Pray for People with HIV/AIDS:

• Pray for patients to encounter loving believers who can provide friendship, encouragement and the message of salvation through Christ.
• Lift up NGOs in East Asia as they invest in the lives of HIV/AIDS patients. 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 biases and misconceptions about this marginalized population to be replaced with acceptance and kindness.


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