All of Us are Equal
The young man sits in the prayer room as the afternoon sun casts its golden light on the lush mountains outside. His frail teenage body looks suddenly so small on the bench. “I want to tell my story,” he said.
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The young man sits in the prayer room as the afternoon sun casts its golden light on the lush mountains outside.
His frail teenage body looks suddenly so small on the bench. “I want to tell my story,” he said.
He looks over at Lucy, the sprite of a woman in jeans and t-shirt with smartphone and Bible by her side. She knows his story well, and she prays he’ll be given time. Just a little more time.
“I want to help others – people who can’t afford to care for themselves,” he shares. “I want to be a blessing to others.” His face glows as he talks about his dreams. “And for the little ones who are now my brothers and sisters, I want them to be grateful and good, study well, be determined in their lives, and be a blessing too.”
A Boy’s Dream
He wants to be a doctor. He wants to tend to others the way Lucy and his family at Gan Sabra HIV Home have tended to him. Yes. He is HIV+.
He came from a very poor home.
Both parents died when he was just a small child, and he was told he would live with his grandparents. But they were unable to care for the young boy who seemed unable to get well. They placed him in a nearby orphanage, where he tested positive for HIV.
“The orphanage then didn’t want me there. They were afraid of me. I was like a bag of dirt.”
And so he was taken in by another outcast – a woman with leprosy. Together, they lived in jungle greenery near the city of Aizawl, surviving off bamboo shoots and vines and whatever fruit they could find. They protected each other and provided for each other.
Until the day both were rescued, and he met a former nun with a fiery passion for the discarded, neglected and abused.
That passion has given her adopted children – all bearing the letters HIV- and has raised up Gan Sabra, a sanctuary for children who are bearing the weight of decisions made by those called to care for them.
For the young man, Gan Sabra is the home he dreamed about as a child.
“I love being here with my brothers and sisters. I am now a Christian – and I feel the prayers of people all over the world. My own mother used to ask, ‘What really is life all about?’ This is life. We have a home. We are cared for. I have friends in foreign lands who love me and inspire me and sponsor me so my needs are met.”
Children at Gan Sabra
He is hopeful now, because of a woman wearing a most unconventional habit of tennis shoes and a backpack.
He holds her hand as she whispers, “You are worthy of great love.”
Lucy whispers that to the children of Gan Sabra each day. And the faith-filled life she lives has become the life they long to live. You can hear it in the words of the boy – “I want to be a blessing to others.” And his dreams are echoed in the dreams of his brothers and sisters.
Voices of Children
“All of us are equal, the least is great, we all have burdens and God gives us strength.”
“I have been through much. And I may be facing worse problems in the future, but God is teaching me that everything is possible through Him.”
“I want to care for the poor.”
“I want to teach others about HIV so they’ll no longer be afraid.”
“I want to be an actress, so I can act out real life struggles so that others will understand.”
Voices of Children
“I have been abused, and I now want to show others how to forgive those who have harmed them.”
Lucy quietly listens to each child share their dreams.
She knows every story, she watches them take their medications every day. She knows just how fragile they are.
“The story God is teaching me is what is the meaning of life. Just yesterday I was telling the kids that the real story is about our time eternally – this life is so precious but it’s yet nothing. Sometimes the kids die in our home, and it’s hard to deal with. But God is giving us strength. Only when you trust Him do you see miracles.” Lucy is now praying for a permanent home for the children of Gan Sabra - a place that will include hospice care.
If you would like to learn more about the building campaign and how to be part of it, contact Amy Norton, Director of Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images by Ronne Rock