March 21, 2013
This past week our 1st Impact Team traveled to Kenya to learn more about, encourage, and serve the CARE for AIDS ministry. It has been an incredible week and our trip participants were able to respond on a conference call on Tuesday about what they’d experienced. After they pulled off on the side of the road, we got them on the line with 25 callers from the United States who were able to listen in and ask questions.
Justin Miller spoke about how CARE for AIDS has changed in the last five years since the organization first started their work in 2007. It’s amazing to see what God has done. The main question we originally asked, and are continuing to ask is, “How can we as the American church respond to this need in Kenya?” When we first began, “There was no one supporting these parents with HIV/AIDS, and consequently, many were dying and leaving behind their children as orphans.” Now, five years later, we’ve seen almost 2,400 men and women claim their lives and are raising beautiful families. To date, almost 100 HIV- children have been born to HIV+ parents which is a huge success!
Here is some of what our Impact Trip participants said was meaningful to them thus far on the trip:
Garret Rutherford | Board member and 1st time visitor
“I was so awed by the joy in their hearts while celebrating a graduation today. The graduates were on their feet, singing and dancing and praising God. It was really powerful to hear how CFA has transformed their lives.” One client, Mary, really meant a lot to him as Garret heard her story of being bedridden with illness before becoming a CARE for AIDS client. CFA counselors visited her in her home until she had the strength to walk to the center. Now she is full of vitality.
John and Kristen Wills | Board member, 2nd time in Kenya, 1st visit with CARE for AIDS
John ate dinner with a woman who used to be unable to walk and had weighed only 50 lbs, now she is strong and takes care of small children in the neighborhood. To be here, “It is surreal, but it’s also familiar. The people here and this woman’s hearts are so big. We feel like family and long lost friends,” said Kristen.
Why should we serve in Kenya and internationally?
“We have so much local support. How incredible is it to share that? Also, the Gospel says to share with all people, not just ones that are close to us.”
Why CARE for AIDS?
Mark Miller | 3rd visit to Kenya, Justin’s dad, longterm CARE for AIDS supporter
“Sometimes you only get to see things secondhand, but it’s important for leaders to experience it themselves. My first check went to my son. My subsequent checks have been made based on kingdom return. I see that the impact CFA is having is immeasurable in regards to eternal terms, and, physically, it’s making a huge difference. The folks with AIDS are our modern day lepers. What would Jesus do? He’d help them. We’re thankful to be a part of it.”
Thank you to everyone who joined us on the call. If you missed it, stay on the lookout for another call sometime in June!