China | Lighthouse Project
May 26, 2009
HIV/AIDS is a growing problem in China. Impoverished farmers sell their blood for a few dollars a pint. Now many of them are suffering from HIV contracted through infected needles. Tens of thousands have died, leaving behind orphans who are stigmatized and live with no hope for tomorrow.
In other parts of China, HIV/AIDS has spread through rampant drug use, shattering families and leaving children without parents. The sex trade in China is also growing, adding to the HIV/AIDS crisis.
The Lighthouse Project was conceived after a period of on-the-ground research, interviews with local pastors and soul-searching prayer. The aim of the Lighthouse Project is to be a shining light and make a difference in the AIDS-hit villages in China. Each individual “lighthouse” is an avenue for Christians and churches worldwide to be a light in the midst of darkness, by allowing them to communicate God’s love to the local communities in providing prayer and practical care.
TWR has been working with the local churches since June 2006 to reach out to these villages, helping them with daily needs and children’s school fees. Regular visits, prayer, care and counselling bring emotional and spiritual encouragement to the villagers. Through our programmes and on-the-ground ministry, TWR is presenting the gospel in non-threatening ways to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
One of the aims of the Lighthouse Project is to provide support for children who have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Since the project began, there have been four Lighthouses set up, and about 500 children and 120 families are supported under this project.
It is imperative that the many children who are either infected with, or affected by HIV/AIDS are cared for beyond their physical needs. Having a Sunday School to provide for their spiritual needs will also help them come to know Jesus Christ, and recover from their emotional and psychological scars. When the Sunday School Teachers Training Program was started in 2007, it resulted in 84 Sunday Schools being set up, which are being attended by more than 3000 children in various counties across China.
The following is a testimony from a Sunday School teacher who has been involved in the Lighthouse Project’s Sunday School ministry.
“My name is Z. I have been a Sunday School teacher for two years and I am proud to serve the Lord.
God brought me to salvation when I was young. Two years ago, I was called by the Lord to become a Sunday School teacher. When the class first started, kids of various ages were placed together. Initially, the large group of children would fight and quarrel. It was chaotic, and some would even ask to go home earlier. I was at a loss but I remembered the Lord teaching us to love others more than ourselves. I treated all the children like my own. I would teach them to sing hymns, memorise scripture and tell them Bible stories.
Two years on, the children see me as part of their family, and we have developed a deep friendship. Every Sunday afternoon, the children would arrive early at the church and wait for the teachers there. I am very thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to work with the children and I feel blessed even though it is tough. I love my job. It means a lot to me because I can help them know God from a young age and help develop their spiritual maturity, and also teach them what they should or should not do, whether it’s at church or at home. Parents have commented that their children are better-behaved, and I know it is the Lord at work in them. Although the work is not easy, I know the Lord has given me this responsibility and I want to put all my mind and heart into it.”
Prayer and Praise
- Praise God that there have been some fruits since the project was started in 2006.
- Pray for the team as they visit the Lighthouses, that they will be a blessing to those in need.
- Pray for the people in the villages that they will continue to look towards the Lord to be their source of hope.