One of our first team experiences in India began on Sunday. Our contact Aruna brought us to church. We were unaware of it at the time (until "church" was almost over), but it was actually a small house fellowship made up of HIV positive families. Many had come to Christ out of Hinduism and Islam- mostly widows and children - and they met there because they may not have felt comfortable at a typical church. It was a beautiful experience. We sang songs of worship in Telegu to the Lord. Later, Tiffany and I had opportunity to share our stories of how we came to faith in Christ (pausing at each phrase as it was translated into Telugu for those who did not know English) and Wade gave a message that focused on Luke 15.
The most beautiful part of the service was when a woman wept as she spoke of how she had been praying and praying to have a Bible in her own language (Tamil). She had finally received the Bible that morning and she kept kissing it and thanking God that she now had opportunity to read God's word in her mother tongue. Something that I so often take for granted (I have several Bibles) meant the world to her.
Today (Monday) our team served at the Nareekshena (Hope) clinic for those infected with HIV and AIDS and we served at a Christian school originally founded to give the Children of Leprosy patients a solid education (today many of the students are orphaned or semi-orphaned from HIV or other issues). We will be serving at these sites for the next several days.
I am still processing all that we saw and experienced, but I have come to see many many ways that something as devastating as HIV and AIDS is being redeemed by God to bring people to faith in Christ and to give a hope and a future. What Satan meant for evil, God has used for good!