Post written by Melissa Strunk (from Kentucky)
Today we went to the orphanage that houses children with HIV. We weren't able to take photos of the kids or tour the facility due to security reasons, so they brought the kids out to us. We spent time playing with sidewalk chalk, singing, dancing and handing out gifts. I kept thinking of the verse John 3:16, for God so loved the world. That means that there are no second class people. We must embody the message of love or we fail to represent the Gospel. To see the children you would not think that they were sick. They were vibrant, beautiful and remarkable children. My fear for them is not for their health, but for the struggles they will face by the possibility of being ostracized just like the lepers in the Bible. God loves everyone and therefore we should love everyone! Nobody asks to have HIV and it's our responsibility as Christians to care for them and love them just as Jesus would have done. According to the World Health Organization, at the end of 2010 there were 3.4 million children under the age of 15 living with HIV around the world. The numbers are increasing and the chances of you or me having someone close to us who is infected with HIV is also on the rise. My prayers for each of us is that we will embrace them with open hearts and open arms!
Our team had lunch at KFC today. We thought it would be funny to get a photo of the KY team members together in front of this sign. It has been such a blessing to be able to laugh and joke with one another throughout the day as we process so many heavy and heart breaking stories. We are so thankful that God is in our midst and He is filling us with hope and joy each day.