In China, eighty percent of the citizens live in rural areas, including in Henan Province. This area is one of the poorest areas in China, with the annual income amounting to about $80 U.S a year per family. Life is difficult there. Most people farm to support their families and many peasant farmers struggle to pay leases on their land and their homes.
In the mid-1990s, a large number of people living in the poorest areas of Henan Province were offered money for selling their blood to private companies, who, in turn, sold it to clinics. Unfortunately, many contracted HIV/AIDS through repeated use of contaminated needles when their blood was drawn by these private blood collectors. Because one of the modes of transmission of HIV is from mother to child through childbirth, some of the children born to those who had been infected by contaminated needles were also infected with HIV. Children, both infected and not-infected, lost parents. The elderly lost their adult children and their means of support in old age. This tragedy has destroyed families and has weakened an already tenuous economy.
Since 2004, Global Ministries has been working in Henan Province with a small humanitarian non-governmental organization, Zhecheng Succor Society. Support is provided for AIDS orphans, medical care for those living with HIV and AIDS, and small loans to farmers to reinforce their income-generation through agriculture and livestock. Global Ministries has also provided support to some of the local schools attended by orphans and other children whose families are affected by HIV/AIDS.
In western China in Sichuan Province, the Sichuan TV and Radio University provides education to over 150,000 students in China, particularly in rural areas, through remote learning centers. Global Ministries supports the work of the TV and Radio University in GanZi and supports Tibetan students studying to be English teachers. Global Ministries missionaries, Doug and Elizabeth Searles, taught English at the University until 2007. Newly appointed Global Ministries missionary Tom Morse is headed to China and will also work with the Sichuan TV and Radio University to teach English.
Global Ministries now sponsors four students through Zhecheng Succor Society so that they can go to the city of Chengdu for three years of study at the TV and Radio University.
Global Ministries is very grateful for this growing relationship between two of its partners who serve those in need in China.