Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Vanitha's Story

Vanitha is a beautiful young woman from India.

Photo Courtesy Compassion International 

I must spend a few minutes telling you her miraculous story, for I know it will make your day--in a way most of the Internet just can't do today. Vanitha's is a story of God's power and love and redemption.

When she was just 13 years old, a man took Vanitha as his wife, knowing he was HIV-positive and Vanitha was not. Two years later, Vanitha became both a widow and a grieving mother on the same day. Alone and devastated, she was also HIV-positive. Her heart brimmed with sorrow, her spirit lacked hope.

She went to live with her parents and work in a factory, but still. she couldn't afford the HIV medicines she needed.

By the grace of God, three years later, a man fell in love with her, and asked her to marry him--a simple man, a rickshaw driver who knew of her condition.

Their families and elders did not think the union wise, due to Vanitha's condition, but Vanitha liked the man, and he cared for her very much, and would not be dissuaded. They married inside their house one day, before a picture of their god. They lived a simple life, in a one-room abode with an outdoor kitchen--an abode that leaked when it rained, forcing them to sleep in the auto-rickshaw on wet nights.

But they loved one another. Their hearts were united, but not their bodies, due to Vanitha's HIV status. Not only did bringing her husband physical joy seem out of the question, but bearing another child seemed out of the question, too, for Vanitha, who still mourned her son.
“I was a pain bearer. I gave it to everyone who loved me. Nothing good came from me. Now I could not give any joy to my husband. He made a sacrifice: his self,” Vanitha says. “One day my neighbor told me about the Compassion [program] run in a local church. They told me that something good would come from there. I went there to meet the staff and shared with them my problems. There was something different about these people. The sister who spoke to me had authority and love at the same time. I wondered who these people were and why they did such wonderful work without any benefit [for themselves].”
Quote Courtesy of Compassion International: http://blog.compassion.com/world-aids-day-2014-walking-dead/#ixzz3KigoN8MT

The next day Vanitha registered in the Child Survival Program, and the CSP workers put together a counseling session for the couple, which included a doctor who advised them on how to go about having a child in a safe and secure way. The staff and other mothers in the program prayed for Vanitha, and within months she conceived! And gave birth to a healthy child!

Vanitha, her husband and child, Courtesy Compassion International

"I was scared about the child. I had already lost a child, and the thoughts haunted me day and night. But the staff assured every time they visited my home that prayers never go unheard,” Vanitha recalls joyfully.
Vanitha speaks of the blessing Compassion has been to her. Her life seemed hopeless when at 15, her heart and mind were devastated.
“I was forsaken, abused and left to die. The pain in my heart was so unbearable that my body would fall down without any reason. I would sit and stare at the wall bluntly, without any reason. My god did not speak nor hear. Tears streamed down my cheeks every night. What a curse I was! If not for my beloved sisters at the [CSP program], I would be dead and gone,” Vanitha says.
A note from Compassion:
At the end of 2013 there were approximately 35 million people like Vanitha with the HIV virus. But they’re not alone.

For #GivingTuesday (December 2), we’re raising money to open a Child Survival Program (CSP) in Gujarat, India, like the one that assisted Vanitha and her family, to give other impoverished women like her a chance to be healthy moms and give their children a healthy start.

But we need your help to meet our $25,000 goal by the end of the day Tuesday! Learn more about our #GivingTuesday efforts and help us spread the word by sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram how you’re giving back on #GivingTuesday.

Help other women like Vanitha become healthy moms for #GivingTuesday.

Donate at this Compassion link for Giving Tuesday's Gujarat, India Child Survival Progam start-up.  This is a one-time, tax-deductible gift.

~ Update #1 At 9:40 AM, we're at $5,195, 21% of our goal. I know we will get there, by the grace of God! God loves Compassion. Thank you!

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