Sunday, Nov. 7. 2010
Reid Trulson, Executive Director for International Ministries
Our visit to ministry projects in China brought us to Yunnan province located in southern China just east of the Myanmar (Burma) border. We traveled to several communities to observe Amity Foundation projects where villagers greeted us warmly with music, dance and food.
The villages are in Longchuan County. Situated in the “Golden Triangle” with neighboring Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, this area has long been plagued with the production and trafficking of opium. The ethnic Dai people in the area traditionally believed that opium was medicine for headaches and could prolong life. This belief coupled with heavy drug trafficking from Myanmar has led to a county drug addiction rate of 4.5%.
The first case of HIV/AIDS in China was authenticated here. Early HIV transmission here was largely from drug use, while now most HIV transmission is through sexual contact. Here Amity Foundation has established a multi-faceted program related to drug addiction, HIV/AIDS, health care and economic development.
I was deeply moved by a villager who told of becoming drug addicted and HIV positive. Rejected by the village and in total despair, he sought to survive by crossing the border to seek work in Myanmar. When Amity began its project in his village, he was able to return and entered the program. After detoxification he was able to take out a small loan from the Amity micro-finance project enabling him to buy several chickens. With careful management he has repaid the loan and expanded his chicken flock so that the sale of eggs provides him a living income. His is just one of the examples of human transformation that we found in this village. This community is encountering the love of God through the caring work of men and women who follow Jesus.
To read additional blogs from Team Yunnan, click here.