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News : Thailand

World AIDS Day: Church in China – 1 Dec 2010

World AIDS Day: December 1st

More than two million souls live in the Chinese city of Baoshan which lies in the province of Yunnan near to the border with Myanmar (Burma). This proximity inevitably brings a movement of people between the two countries. The nearness of the infamous Golden Triangle also means a flourishing drugs trade.

Because drugs can be bought easily and cheaply, there’s a human cost in terms of addicts and the transmission of HIV. Latest statistics show there are more than 2,000 people living with HIV in Baoshan.

Through the work of Tearfund partner Cedar Fund, the local church is addressing these issues. A network of churches is working with local government health and social services to transform the lives of people affected by HIV.

Cedar Fund is training pastors in HIV prevention and drug awareness, while also helping them to understand that the church has a role to meet the physical needs of people as well as spiritual ones.

Rehab

Pastor Xu Chenyun took part in our partner’s training. He said, ‘I started to see the role of the church and that we shouldn’t only focus on what’s happening inside the church itself.

‘Instead we should have knowledge of what’s happening in society and meet the needs with the power of our Lord.’

Pastor Xu has shared his learning, and with church colleagues has built a team to work on HIV prevention and raising awareness. Visiting a drug rehab centre inspired him to get involved in setting one up himself and he now divides his time between it and the church. He’s one of a new generation of church leaders being equipped to meet the pressing social needs of the urban poor and to be a tangible sign of hope where all too often there is none.

  • Give thanks for the work of the local church in Yunnan as it meets the needs of people living with HIV and drug addicts.
  • Pray that more of the city’s 40 churches develop a wider community awareness and become involved in ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the people around them.
  • Pray for those affected by drug usage and that greater awareness leads to fewer lives lost to addiction.

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