I think Wei is teasing me again. He seems to imitate me talking then bursts into laughter. He has a lively sense of humour which is captured in his nickname which means ‘handsome but naughty’! Yet he has also shared with me the most moving story I have heard yet in China. Wei tells me:
‘Two days after an HIV training I decided to put the training into action. In the first family I visited the husband Tien* was in the last stages of AIDS. Tien’s daughter was so afraid that she had run away but his wife Wa* had stayed. The wider community shunned their household and warned me not to visit this family.
When I did sit down with them Wa was deeply moved as no one had visited them for a long time. As she shared her heart with me tears ran down her cheeks. I was so worried that I would speak wrongly. I had 50 yen ($8) with me and I gave it to Tien. As I did so he said ‘Sala’, meaning that he realised I was a pastor. He held my hand and asked me to pray for him. When I prayed he started to pray too and became put right again with God.
When he died all of his fellow villagers were too scared to help bury him. Wa called me for help. I asked church members from my village, which is nearby, to help and they came. Seeing their example some of Tien’s fellow villagers joined in’.
How did Tien, as he lay dying, come to know that God still loved him? It was because one of God’s people, Wei, overcame his fear and became Jesus holding his hand. Who do you and I need to be Jesus to? Perhaps it’s to someone nobody else loves.
*Name changed to protect privacy.