Sunday, June 26, 2011


A couple interesting things have come to light since I wrote out my sentiments from yesterday that pertain specifically to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I suppose this is what you would call a “God Thing”…when you just can’t explain away a coincidence.

After reading about the pandemic yesterday, I felt very sad, helpless and hopeless. I wondered if we could ever really overcome something as large as HIV/AIDS. I felt like there was no way for me to help.

Last night our group spent nearly 6 hours in open and lively conversation. For several hours before dinner we sat around the living room just chatting. Once the meal was prepared we moved around the table and our conversation lasted another couple hours. Finally we moved back into the living room for our evening devotion that lasted much longer than anticipated. It was nearing 11pm when we were finally finished with our discussion.

While many things were brought to light last night that spoke deep into my heart, one thing Doug said that really made sense of how I was feeling about the HIV/AIDS pandemic was this:

“I may not be able to cure AIDS, but I can hug a person and pray with them.”

Then today, after returning home from church, I walked into the Simba House to a room full of guests, two of which had just traveled from Lusaka to Livingstone for a training, and swung down to Mwandi for the morning. They lived here for 5 years and were just popping in for church and a visit. This husband/wife duo work in Lusaka now for the ministry of Public Health and reproductive health. Their primary task is developing a plan to combat HIV/AIDS in all of Zambia. All through lunch I picked their brains about the pandemic and what is being done to fight this disease.

While I learned many things from Chobi and Wesi and Doug, my take away from these two experiences is this...something is being done, it is not hopeless and I am not helpless. I can help by supporting those who are already working on this issue, whether it is in prayer or financially. And I can help those who are affected by this disease by loving them, praying with them, and like Doug said…hugging them. I can educate myself about the disease, about the devastation, allow myself to feel sad, and then do what God sent me here to do: build relationships and show love to His people. And you can contribute as well by praying for me while I am here and praying for the people that I am meeting. We are not helpless, and it is certainly not hopeless.

In other news, church was simply amazing this morning. Watching Doug preach and Pastor Mudenda translate, singing and praising with vibrant Mwandi men, women and children, and observing the Lord at work in a place clear across the world from my home was undoubtedly one of my favorite experiences!

Right now things have slowed down a bit. Everyone is caught up in conversation, sitting around the living room again. It is Sunday and we are relaxed and enjoying the company of those around us. I pray that your Sunday back at home is similar, and hopefully as joyful as mine.

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