Monday, April 15, 2013

AIDS, do you really have mercy?

A striking memory from my trip to Kenya a few years ago was when a little girl named Sarah pressed a folded note into my hands.  The lines to her poem were written painstakingly within.

AIDS, AIDS, want do you want?
You kill my mother. You kill my father.
I walk along the street,
thirsty, hungry, and naked.
No food to eat, no water to drink,
no clothes to wear, and no place to settle.
Oh! AIDS, you really kill,
killing the leaders, rich and poor.
You never choose, and why?
AIDS, do you really have

Sarah is bright, articulate, and has a beautiful smile.  Despite all of this, her future is dauntingly uncertain because Sarah is an AIDS orphan.  In an impoverished country filled with abandoned children, Sarah's story is all too common. 

AIDS ravages so many families in Kenya and orphans millions of children each year.  There are currently more than twenty million AIDS orphans worldwide, and the number is rapidly increasing.

My own sponsored daughter, Lavin, has experienced a life unimaginably difficult.  Her father died from AIDS, leaving Lavin and her widowed, illiterate mother to survive alone.  Lavin lives in a single-room mud hut without running water or electricity.  No one was able to offer her any kind of medical care or education.  No one provided her with food or clothing.  Struggling to make it through each day on her own, Lavin must have felt so forsaken.

Through sponsorship, Lavin's life has been transformed.  Christian Relief Fund provided her with an education, medicine when she was sick, clothing, and food.  Lavin was connected with a church and Christian leaders who were willing to pour into her life and share the Gospel.  Lavin's future has been brightened by so much hope

Children like Lavin and Sarah have known all too well the realities of grief, loss, and hunger.  They yearn to break free from the chains of poverty, but they cannot do so without support.

What is your role in this?  God has made our responsibility clear.  James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress."  If the forgotten, abandoned children of this world break the heart of the Creator of the universe, how can your heart possibly remain whole?

To love the least is to better know the heart of God.  Jeremiah 22:16 says, "'He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well.  Is that not what it means to know me?' declares the Lord."

One way you can change the life of an AIDS orphan is through sponsorship.  Christian Relief Fund provides nourishing food, basic medical care, clothing, schooling, and spiritual teaching to sponsored children.  You can give an invisible child whose life has been overshadowed by disease and starvation a voice for the very first time.

Sarah's poem is such a poignant reminder of the harsh realities of life for an AIDS orphan.  She has been given a beautiful voice.  With an education, the Gospel, and the sustenance to survive her childhood, Sarah is daily being equipped to provide for a family of her own one day and begin to change the future of Kenya from a land of extreme poverty to a land of hope.

Consider sponsoring an AIDS orphan today.

Three years ago: Poverty: Food
Two years ago: He Was There and Jack's Haircut
One year ago: She brings joy

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