New videos tell story of hope
Photo by Hope for Life Thailand.
A series of new videos has been produced by Hope for Life Thailand to tell their extraordinary story – how a New Zealand nurse with dreadlocks came to help respond to the impact of HIV.
Kenneth Fleck felt the call to a more compassionate approach to HIV care while in his homeland, nursing a young man on the verge of death from a massive infection. Found to be HIV positive, the patient was put on a course of antiretroviral drugs to combat the virus. Almost immediately, the man started getting better. Then, after few more days, and for no apparent physical reason, he suddenly died.
Kenneth was shocked. Why had his patient died? The answer: because he no longer wanted to live.
Kenneth explains: “This young man was from Africa…when he went back to his own country his family would have rejected him, his church would have rejected him. There was no healthcare – his community would have pushed him out to the side. This man had no hope.”
The five videos tell how Kenneth and the Hope for Life team, including local Thai co-founders Pii Ann and Pii Daeng Dechaboon, worked to bring the hope that was missing.
As the documentary progresses, we learn how the stigma and rejection faced by those living with AIDS and HIV has been slowly replaced with grace and love. Included, in episode four, is the inspirational account of one young girl whose life was completely changed by the care and love she experienced from the Hope for Life team and a local church they partnered with.
The series has been commissioned to celebrate the project’s tenth anniversary. In footage recorded at their official celebration last year, the team are shown planting a tree called ‘Hope’ as a reminder that, like a tree, Christians are people with an owner. Speaking at the event, Pii Daeng says: “We are people who have been cared for, tended, nurtured, watered, fertlised, watched over with a great love.” It is that love that the Hope for Life team want to be a conduit of.
Kenneth says of the project: “The DNA at its core is a relational approach to HIV care…a movement where the love of God is shown in every facet of community.”
As the next ten years unfold, the team long for this relational approach – fuelled by the love of God and the hope of the gospel – to be adopted by more and more church communities around Thailand and the world. Their hope is that the church would awaken and take on a larger role not just in preaching, but also caring for people in their communities, being a voice for them and showing the gospel in practical ways.
The filmmakers are trusting that the videos will be used powerfully by God to help spark the awakening they long to see for the benefit of those living with HIV and AIDS.
Pii Daeng says: “The only thing that can help is the grace of Jesus Christ that can go in and heal; that can go in and change their life. This is the challenge we have to give to the next generation.”
• Thank God for the incredible impact Hope for Life Thailand has had over the last ten years
• Ask that the church would continue to be awakened to show the gospel through practical love and compassion
• Ask that these videos would be used mightily to change attitudes and approaches to dealing with HIV and AIDS
Watch Kenneth’s story....
For the full series, go to https://vimeo.com/showcase/9668205