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A Paraguayan Story of Courage and Triumphant Love

For 12 years Natanael* lived in a special home in Paraguay for kids with HIV, part of the Paraguay Protects Families network (PPF). PPF partners with AFFEO and strives to care for children with HIV while doing its utmost to place them with loving forever families.

Natanael’s mom worked in this children’s home and had contracted HIV. When Natanael was born, his mother died, and Natanael remained at the home since his mother’s partner had also died. 

Sadly, because of the HIV, Natanael’s family members had disowned both him and his mom and would not even visit Natanael in the children’s home. Hence, instead of growing up surrounded by a loving family, Natanael spent his early years in a children’s home.

The PPF team worked continuously on Natanael’s behalf as he grew. By the time he reached the age of 12 he needed to know why he was taking medicines, so the team explained his disease to him. Team members also told him that he would need to start learning how to manage the medications himself so that he could eventually live independently. He accepted everything very well, and began to administer his own medicines three times each day, under supervision from the PPF team. When he went for his checkup, the doctor exclaimed, “This kid is phenomenal!” For whatever reason, the virus had stopped reproducing itself! So, although infected, Natanael became like someone who had never had HIV, and only needed to medicate once a day.

Thanks to the connection and that AFFEO has with Paraguay Protects Families, we are able to search for and recruit families that could invest in the lives of kids like Natanael. In Natanael’s case, a couple who are medical professionals began to get to know him before they knew he was HIV positive. They believed they were answering a call from God to love a young man that He had created. When they heard about Natanael they wanted to know more about him and his character. For some time they had longed for a son, and as they got to know Natanael, they began to see him as that son.

Even after they learned about Natanael’s HIV-positive diagnosis, this couple wanted to love him as their own son and accept him into their family! And Natanael felt the same way about them—“he was so, so happy, and very excited,” a caseworker shared. And so, at the age of 12, Natanael found a loving, adoptive, forever family. “We love Natanael so much; he is really special to us,” his new parents shared. “He is very loving and very intelligent. And he has always wanted a family.”

Won’t you pray with us that Natanael’s transition into family life would continue to go smoothly? And that he would increasingly know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that his new family—and God—love him unconditionally.

And please pray as Paraguay Protects Families partners with parents just like Natanael’s—that these Christian families would have increased sensitivity to the many orphans and foster children who are also dreaming of having a forever mother and father. These children are waiting. And they are praying. Let us join our hearts with theirs!

* Natanael is not his real name; both his name and photograph have been changed to protect his privacy.

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