“A world without love is a deadly place.” – Helen Fisher
Its almost Valentine’s Day and love is the topic of the hour. Every commercial, every song, every store window has turned its theme toward love. This morning, we want to share the love with you, but from a different angle than the typical Valentine’s Day perspective.
This morning I want to share what I believe to be the secret behind the CARE for AIDS program…you guessed it! Love.
I was privileged to have been in Kenya for a few weeks this past December for our annual staff retreat. During the three day retreat we worshipped together, ate together, danced together and celebrated a year of incredible growth throughout the organization. There was one afternoon at the retreat, though, that I will never forget. We were all gathered in a conference room at the hotel where we were staying in Kenya and there was a 30 minute window before lunch. We had just discussed spiritual disciplines and one of the staff members wanted to take some time to go around the room and share stories of loss from the previous year so that the group could mourn together.
I will admit that I found the suggestion to be extremely uncomfortable at first- I am very bad at corporate mourning and am generally the person who prefers to lighten the atmosphere, but as I listened to each person in the room describe the loss of clients, I started to realize how truly beautiful each counselor-client relationship in CARE for AIDS really is. Many staff members cried as they told stories of clients who had passed away while in the program, and they so beautifully mourned with each other over each loss. For that 30 minutes, we were no longer team members or co-workers- we were family members, and the clients we talked about and prayed for were part of that family.
When you meet our counselors in Kenya it is so clear to see that CARE for AIDS is not a job- its a labor of love, and I believe that its that love that makes all the difference. If there is anything I have learned from my faith, its that love can save a life, and we see that happening in Kenya every day.