Friday, 7 September 2007
Church Training: Loving your Neighbour... with AIDS
We start another set of training in HIV care for church partners tomorrow.
Since Jeevan Sahara Kendra was started half a decade ago - we have always been convinced that the local church offers perhaps the most potent chance to change people affected by HIV.
HIV affects the whole person. Body, soul, mind, spirit.
HIV affects the whole family. Relationships, money, trust, hope, dreams.
HIV affects our whole society. Kids without education. Parents not at work. The hidden costs continue to mount as the silent epidemic digs deep.
The trauma of HIV demands a response that is bigger than it
Strangely enough - the answer may be as small as a mustard-seed.
One way of looking at the local church is to see a group of sinful people, each broken in their own way, but in the process of healing and renewal - who are joined together in a common fellowship in worshipping Jesus and living out His life in theirs.
The beauty of the church is that it does not have all the answers.
How can it?
Each person in the church has so many limitations. But we are joined together to be something bigger than what we are alone. God wants to use the church to show the world the fullness of His wisdom (Eph. 3.10) - and He delights to see us stretch to meet the challenge - and enables us to do it.
Which is why we conduct the Church Partner Trainings.
To equip small groups of ordinary people to love their neighbours - in word, prayer and deed.
Our course is simple - but we try to put into it what we learned over these 5 years.
Over the 4 sessions (held on alternate Saturdays) we will explore the basics of HIV, TB detection and treatment, counselling, staying healthy, treating opportunistic infections, behaviour change, care for children with HIV, HIV in pregnancy, Anti Retroviral Therapy, preparing for dying, and planning church-based responses.
Nothing magical. Just sharing simple lessons learned. Along with testimonies by people with HIV. And discussion. And prayer. Sort of what church is supposed to be in the first place.
We need to be viral in order to defeat the virus. Simple thoughts and actions - replicated across a large expanse - making impacts in individuals and their families - triggering off further blessings.
The good news is that God has always favoured the weak. His huge plans are put into action by some of the most flawed folks. Its our turn now.