David Adams, our Vice President for Missions, got to spend some time with the kids at Ruimveldt Children’s Home and Care Center (RCHCC) – a Christian shelter for HIV/AIDS affected and infected children in Georgetown, Guyana.
One little boy, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and recently injured his chin because of his impaired mobility, was wary of the American visitor at first, but soon became adoring and affectionate as David read to him the story of Noah’s ark.
David couldn’t blame the boy for his hesitation to accept him – or for that matter, any other newcomer. Though protected at RCHCC, the children know that outside the shelter doors they face a heavy social stigma if their friends and peers learn about their condition. Even if they themselves are not infected with HIV, but they have relatives who are, they face the risk of being teased and ostracized by others who do not understand the disease.
It’s easy to sit down with a child and read a book. But after the visitors have gone home, the RCHCC staff members are left with the daily challenge of comforting the children through their worries, fears, and sorrows. A social worker told us about her struggle to counsel one particular 11-year-old girl:
“She is full of questions: ‘I am HIV positive. What will happen to me? Can I ever have children?’ She feels rejection, like life is over for her. We talk about acceptance… We try to make them feel like this is a home away from home.”
I hope you will remember these precious children in your prayers as Cross continues to support RCHCC.