We just arrived after eight days at see on Madeira Island off the coast of Africa. It has been a wonderful crossing. What a joy it has been to be the chaplain for the voyage leading devotions for the passangers each morning, worship services on Sunday and, last evening, a hymn sign that was a wonderful time of worship.
We are so blessed. Thank you for your prayers for us.
We will have only limited internet access for the next week or more. Thus
Our recent monthly email Prayer Letter included my travel schedule for the rest of 2012. We said that I might go to Tanzania but it was looking less likely. Within days an email arrived confirming the plans for that seminar for the last week of August. God works in wonderful ways. Please pray wiht us that these plans will come together with His help and direction.
Comment from a participant in our seminar in Nairobi last year:
"Am happy to inform you that the knowledge I gained has help alot. First I understood more about HIV AIDS.Have also been able to impart same knowledge to other people both infected and affected. I must say the seminar was a turning point to me. May God bless you for the good work you are doing to his people.
From a HIVHope seminar participant in Mumias, Kenya:
OUTREACH REPORTS MATUNGU DISTRICT
The following are the activities done after the workshop.
Where : Matungu Youth Polytechnic 13th of September 2011
What was done: Conducted teaching on HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. Defined what HIV/AIDS is all about for the youth to differentiate what myths and reality is concerning HIV and AIDS. Facilitated on what V.C.T is all about and encouraged the students to have self confident and participate in counseling for their better future living. What impact has HIV and AIDS left in our society and in the country?
Where : Matungu Youth Polytechnic 11th October 2011
What was done: Introduction on positive and negative living after the HIV tests, how does one accept his/her status and what are the importance of ARVS in the plwas? Explained the vital of ARVS and how they operate in ones body cells to help reduce the multiplication of the HIV virus .explained to the students the disadvantages and advantages of not taking ARVS to the PLWAs (adhererance and non-adhererance)
Where : ACK Marinda Church (Matungu District) 13th-15th Feb 2012
Who : Christian religious leaders/Muslim religious leaders and entire community
What was done:
The main topic was about how can we religious leaders/mosques help the society to understand was SSDDIM is towards our infected and affected persons. S=stigma, S=shame,D=discrimination, D=denial, I=in action, M=mis
The response was good and the attendances was 84 people.VCT services was also conducted during the workshop,30 people were tested and 4 participant turned out to be positive. The positives have been referred to the respective health centres for comprehensive care support and ARVS administration. Others have already joined the community welfare HIV and AIDS support groups. And are engaging in farm activities, tailoring, etc. The
workshop is to continue after every 3 months.
Where : Matungu SDA Secondary School 6th march 2012
What was done: topics covered
a. Since it is the youths who are regarded most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, the definition of HIV and AIDS, its root causes, how it is transmitted, what precautions one should submit to be safe was taught.ABC slogan was also covered during the teaching.
b. Defined VCT and its roles to the participants, most of the students were ready for testing even though a few were afraid to do so. We encourage them to have self confidence and not fear because fear is a destructive element to ones conscience. “The motive was, be free to your heart and mind in order to save beautiful future.”
c.video shows on how HIV and AIDS is transmitted, how it affect the body cells, what issues pressurizes one
to indulge in unsafe sex and several others areas was covered. This system helped so much the students to truly watch from pictures, actions and moral standards on what is required of them. EITHER DON’T OR DO IT AND FACE THE CONSEQUENCES
Where Matungu Secondary School 15th of March 2012
students and teachers (200 participant and 6 teachers)
What was done : topics covered
a. How do teachers and the students relate HIV and AIDS and their surrounding, their church and the entire
b. Informed the participants on the vital of behavior change, how do they react towards SSDDIM incase there is
c. Topics on love, shairing, conscience acceptance, to have trust in oneself and other issues was taught to participants to help them understand and support our collegues who are infected or affected.
In conducting this workshops we distributed handouts/leaflets with the message of HIVand AIDS, given out condoms to those who were willing to have, and also conducted VCT services (even though others only accepted to be counseled and not tested of their status).
CHALLENGES FACED ARE:
1. Yes people accept the information about HIV /AIDS but others are still deep rooted in traditional beliefs, i.e. witchcraft.
2. Some of the participant still have fear shyness and find it difficult to raise their heart felt questions openly (lack of disclosure)
3. Even though the society have been informed of this epidemic, our youths are always in hurry to engage in early sexual intercourse without using the safe precaution methods. This results to hardship in handling them because others when tested will either turn out positive or negative, others total refuse to go the V C T tests
4. Lack of enough information handout and other basic information materials for references during facilitation. Lack of finance to help in commuting from one place to other far areas outside Matungu district.
But I have the hope that this shall not hinder us from fighting against the dreadly killer. Together we shall move as one to save Matungu, Kenya, Africa and the whole world.
From Nairobi, Kenya: One of the participants in a seminar we did last summer writes, "Have been meeting various people and especially the youths and encouraging them to stop premature sex and if better to totally abstain to
avoid new infections and the spread of the disease and even to visit VCTs [Voluntary Counseling & Testing] for their status checkup."
Today is what we know as Good Friday, the day we remember what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross. Some ask why the memory of a horrible death is called "good."
For me, this is a great day because the death of Jesus is the reason that I know that my sins are forgiven (what an amazing blessing) and that I can look forward to spending eternity with God. What a blessing!
Incredibly, when we read the Bible we find in Isaiah 53 that it actually PLEASED God to see His Son go through this. One translation puts it, "Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him" (ESV).
As a father, I cannot imagine being pleased by seeing any of my children hurt, much less killed for things they did not do. But, God loves you and me so much, that it actually gave Him pleasure knowing that this was the
only way that He could look forward to eternity with all of us who are sinners.
So, this is a Great Friday and we are looking forward to celebrating the amazing resurrection of our Savior on Sunday.
Duane for HIVHope
Recently some friends suggested that we start a blog for HIVHope. While i have never done this before and, to be totally honest, have resisted the idea for a long time, it now seems like a good idea.
My plan is to do blog posts in a variety of categories. These may include travel notes, updates about our family, plans for the future, comments that come in from former seminar participants, updates on HIV, etc. We will see how this goes and where we go with it.
Please feel free to comment on these posts. Hope you enjoy them.
Duane for HIVHope