The children loved the activities and action songs that were planned for them.
Smiles sparkled on the faces of 15 HIV-positive children when several Gospel for Asia–supported Bible college students brought them a big dose of Christmas cheer.
These children, who live in a social care center, have all been rejected in some way—some by their own families and some simply by being denied basic rights in their society, such as the freedom to attend a mainstream school.
"They are often treated as the scum of the earth," our GFA correspondent writes.
In certain parts of South Asia, there is still a strong stigma associated with AIDS.
"Children with AIDS need our love, not sympathy," our correspondent writes. "It is this basic love of Jesus that drives our students to visit and encourage the kids to trust Jesus, who is the only one who can heal their sickness."
The Christmas program the team planned for the children had the theme of salvation and healing offered through Jesus woven throughout. These truths offered hope to these children who have already suffered so much. The team taught the boys and girls an action song called "Yesu Tume Bularahe" ("Jesus Is Calling You").
Our correspondent reports that each child listened with deep interest as one of the team members shared a message about Jesus. When the team showed a movie on the Savior's life, the children all watched intently and were moved.
The program the Bible college students put on for the children was a big dose of Christmas cheer for these young AIDS patients.
The center's director was moved to tears as she watched the movie with the children. She said that through this movie she was able to understand Jesus' love for the first time.
"All of them were touched deeply when they saw the crucifixion of Jesus," our correspondent writes. "We believe that the spirit of God will start to work in their hearts."
After the movie, a member of the team appeared dressed as Santa Claus and distributed sweets to the kids.
"The children had fun plucking his long beard," our correspondent writes. "They laughed from the core of their hearts and enjoyed these precious moments."
When it was time to go, one of the team members prayed to close the program.
The children enjoyed grabbing on to Santa and plucking his long beard.
"But this was not the end," our correspondent writes. "The children were given a taste of Christmas cakes and chocolates from our students, who wanted to share this joy of Christmas with them."
It was a bright spot in the lives of these children, a time when they could forget about the hardships and complexities of being infected with HIV and, for a few moments, just enjoy simply being children.
"In the end, none of the kids wanted to say farewell to our Bible college students, who really engrossed each one of them in a transcendental moment of joy and happiness," reported our correspondent.
The team would like prayer for the Lord's healing for these precious children and for many more opportunities to go back and minister to them with the love of Jesus.