Monday, July 30, 2007

From South Africa - Update #1: Statistics become people

I embarked for South Africa on the Friday night redeye and arrived here on Saturday morning. On Sunday I went to a local church where I met a guy by total fluke (if such a thing exists) whom I had met on the other side of the country seven years ago. Small world.

Today was my first day of ministry here in Southern Africa. This is my end-of-the-year trip as George Verwer's helper--a special time--so I thought I would write fairly frequent reports for this blog. I will be here in Southern Africa for over a month.

(The hike I was going to go on has been canceled due to a lack of water in the canyon we were going to hike in.)

Today I had the privilege of participating in a frontline AIDS ministry here in Pretoria, South Africa. It simply involved serving HIV+ patients a meal and a hot or cold drink; and just being present to listen and talk and share Christ.

The patients ranged from a young black couple to an old white man. Being there with these people face to face personalized the statistics for me. The holistic-versus-evangelism question faded away as I realized that each of these people represented a whole life - a life that was slipping away.

Someone chose to make caring for AIDS patients their priority. As a result, whole lives have been impacted; in some cases transformed.

What is my role in the global AIDS pandemic? What is yours?
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Sent from my mobile phone.
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