For the past 18 years, Major Trevor Smith has undertaken a special ministry to people affected by HIV/Aids. In The Falling Leaf he charts the historical background to the pandemic, describes challenges faced by those with the virus and recounts moving accounts of the reactions of family, friends and the public at large.
The book is illustrated with photographs of people and events, including some previously unpublished pictures featuring the late Diana, Princess of Wales, whose personal touch helped change public attitudes to those affected by HIV.
In his foreword, the Bishop of Oxford, the Retired Rev Richard Harries, says: Written in an accessible style, with pen portraits of people and touches of humour, it conveys well the truth that where the most vulnerable are, there is Jesus. The author’s approach has been entirely non-judgmental and he emphasises how much he has received from those he has been privileged to befriend and minister to.
Major Smith, acknowledging the many people who allowed him to tell their stories, quotes the mother of a young man who died from Aids, who wrote to him: I must say it gave me overwhelming pleasure to know that you had remembered Kevin and that he wasn’t just a statistic. I feel sure he would think it an honour to be a participant in your venture.