Thursday, 9 April 2009

The AIDS Home

I was supposed to stay at a Christian family's house while volunteering with HOPE. But as expected, things didn't turn out as planned. The wife somehow got admitted to the hospital, so the husband didn't want me to stay there. So the wonderful Malar Prabath, HOPE Chennai coordinator, arranged for me to actually stay at the AIDS Home. It was a modest room, used as a storage, inside had a bathroom with a shower that didn't work and an Indian toilet. (I really have a thing with Asian style toilets, which make me cringe every time I think about them. But I'm determined to not let such discomfort get in the way of God showing me His glory in the face of poverty and suffering.)

  • I told them I'm from Thailand. They had no idea where it is. Malaysia, yes. Thailand, no.
  • They were quite fasinated with my pedicured nails I had done a few weeks ago in Bali. Despite the chipped paint, they loved the floral design and the red dot with the pink background.
  • The housing structure somehow made me feel like being in the Middle East.
  • I lost my appetite when I saw kids sitting on the dirty floor eating with their hands, like they'd scoop up rice with their entire palm.
  • They loved it when I took their pictures.
  • At night the girls taught me how to do Indian dance. That was really fun!
  • They told me about this American guy named Rocky, a disciple, who will be there at the end of the month. He had previously volunteered there for 3 months last year, fell in love with the kids, and will spend the next 5 years with them. I pray that someday I'll get to meet him, a man with the heart of gold!
  • I constantly found myself longing for first world comforts. That's why I'm amazed at Rocky's heart.
  • I'm amazed to see how God takes care of the poor and needy. The women whose husbands were dead due to AIDS have been nursed back to health and now have a job working at the Home. Their children are also being looked after by HOPE. Tireless, underpaid HOPE staff dedicating their lives to a noble cause. I salute you, all of you for your bravery, faith, and love despite your circumstances. You choose to live even though you know you are dying. But isn't that true for all of us?

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