Today’s post is written by Myrna Maxey, a CAMA worker in Papua, Indonesia.
I received a test from my friend Fitri that read, “I want to talk with you about the mobile phone we received for AIDS information. Now already there are more and more people phoning.”
Fitri and her friend Hana received HIV/AIDS training and are now manning an AIDS information hotline in Papua. They answer callers’ questions about their symptoms, HIV, and AIDS; or often they just listen, pray for the caller, and direct them to one of the Volunteer Counseling and Testing centers around Papua.
Fitri and Hana both came to know Christ in their home villages on the island of Java. Both of them married Papuan men and somewhat reluctantly followed their husbands back to Papua. Both recently had babies and so are at home to answer calls. But their health interests are broader than only HIV and AIDS.
A year ago, something significant began. It was the holiday Hari Kartini, the day Indonesians commemorate the country’s heroine, Ibu Kartini, who spoke out for women’s education and sports at a time when it was unpopular. Fitri and Hana led a neighborhood gathering of nine mothers and their young, active children. During the afternoon, the women attended an interesting seminar on basic healthy living in the home. Fitri and Hana passed out antiparasitic medicine to each mother and child and gave everyone a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste.
More than anything, Fitri and Hana want their friends and the neighborhood children to see Christ’s love and compassion lived out in practical ways. Pray for stamina, wisdom, and good support from their husbands as this small but powerful ministry is getting off the ground. Pray for one HIV+ mother who attended. She lives behind Hana’s home and her husband recently passed away. This mother is taking antiretroviral medication and trying to bring up three young children.