"Alasan" - Watercolor by Michele E. Struss.  Prints and notecards available at www.hispaintbrush.com.

Many years ago God burned a place in my heart for the continent of Africa, so when my friend returned from a trip to Mozambique with the photograph he took of this little boy, my heart was captured.  Though I didn’t know his story, I decided to paint him to represent an AIDS orphan and named him Alasan.  Truth is, he very well could be one with Africa being home to an estimated 15 million children who have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS virus.

For a moment I try to put myself in one of the orphans’ shoes but I pause, for I cannot even begin to comprehend their lives.  I ask myself, where do they call home and who shows them love there?  Do they laugh like other children who are carefree?  I wonder what they see when they look into their future that must seem hopeless.  But then I think, “what if we are God’s plan for their hope here on earth?”  Maybe it is our responsibility to care for them by showing love and providing food for their empty stomachs and souls.  What if we were given the opportunity to be God’s hands extended…would we act?

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these…you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40

*All net proceeds from “Alasan” will be used to help “the least of these” through Cry Africa.


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