Monday, June 8, 2009

HIV In/And the Church

Over the weekend, we spent some time in the rural areas. The economic conditions are even worse there. We drove on the major highway, which was like a rundown version of a paved country road in some parts. Then we drove for some time down a dirt road - really slow for a longtime.

The place we stayed at was a training center that many came to from a long ways away. Some even walked miles to this. It was humbling to be there. They were more on the charismatic side of life and I don't think they even knew expository preaching. In fact, a missionary I spoke with here says that he knows of only two people in the country who preach out of the Bible in an exposition fashion. So, for me, it was a reminder of how blessed I am to have studied at Masters and how blessed I am with Pastor Bob. I hope we were an encouragement. I spoke out of Romans 12 (Don't be conformed but transformed) and Colossians 1 (learning how to pray from Paul's prayer).

On Sunday, we went to church about an hour and a half away. At this church, we praised God, heard testimonies and Thomas preached from Romans 5 and the benefits of justification. During the testimony times, one lady stood up and shared that she was HIV positive and her children are positive too. Yet she praised God for how good He is to her and her children. I talked with the pastor and many in the churches are HIV positive. In fact, 1 in 4 are positive in Zimbabwe. This made me think of what would we do if someone in our own church stood up and shared about HIV. How would we treat them, how would we respond, how would we minister to them? This is a big problem here. It is not just ministry to those who are infected outside the church but many within. It will be a big issue for Thomas to think through too.

Today is a day of rest. God knew something when He instituted the Sabbath. It was much needed and we have had good fellowship with our host families.

Thank you for praying and for leaving comments. I enjoy reading them. Also, thanks to my wife for posting for me and for allowing me the opportunity to come here.


mike mawhorter said...

prayin for ya, j!

Matt Round said...

We're praying for you and Thomas! Church went well this Sunday. Roger preached and there was some good discussion from Titus 2 in the group afterward. We miss you back here. Stay safe. Watch for flying snakes and don't get chimp slapped.