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.A.C.T. Aids Home In India, women and children with AIDS are considered worse than untouchable – they are often outcasts to their own families. Because of this, many patients in AIDS hospitals are without family support or even anyone willing to bury them after they die. The founders of PACT began serving in the local AIDS hospital, and while working with the patients they found that many children were left orphans. One by one they began taking these children to a home in Chennai, where each child receives love, care, and treatment. Today the home houses 20 children and several women who are HIV-positive.

His Name is Lawrence
As I walked into the Aids Kids Orphanage in Chennai, I was drawn to Lawrence right away.  He has a gentle smile and kind eyes.  Lawrence is not the most outgoing child in the home.  As a matter of fact, he's a pretty quiet child in the midst of many young extroverts.  But when he sat near me, I put my hand on his shoulder.  Lawrence turned and looked at me, and smiled.  My heart melted.

Lawrence's story is similar to most of the kids in the home.  His mom and dad died of Aids and left Lawrence and his sister, Priya, as orphans.  They're both HIV positive and no extended family members were willing to take them in.  This ministry took them in, and cares for them in this wonderful environment.  The home is one of the orphanages that we support every month through Streams of Mercy.  As I sit here, with Lawrence near me, I know why.

The Aids Kids home in Chennai is part of a larger ministry to people "Infected with, or affected by, HIV".  They have a sponsorship program for HIV positive kids to go to school.  They help 150 children!  They have an ongoing ministry to hundreds of people in two Aids hospitals.  They have set up micro-businesses for women left widowed through Aids, and of course they have the Aids Kids Home.

As I write this, my heart is torn by the injustice that a little boy and his sister should have to fight this dreaded disease.  There's not a lot I can do except to tell their story, to help support this amazing orphanage, and to put my hand on Lawrence shoulder. Somehow, that's what I think Jesus would do!
Photography by Nathan Golden.