This morning’s post is a beautiful reflection from CARE for AIDS supporter and friend, Laura Gravitt.

She is beautiful and strong. And yet, she feels unattractive and weak. She has lost so much weight from being sick. The simple task of lifting her body from her cot each morning is becoming increasingly hard. She is tired of feeling tired. Who can She tell? Who will listen?

She is brave and fiercely protective of her children. And yet, she is scared and knows in her heart they are not safe. She fears this sickness will take her. What happens to her children when she can’t be there for them? All 5 of them. 5 Littles are young. They need her. She must be brave. She is their hope. She longs to see them have a secure future. How can She succeed? Who will help?

She is proud and capable. And yet, she is ashamed of her withering body. She lacks energy to properly care for 5 Littles. She knows they are hungry for more than She can give them. Does anyone have extra food to share? Who will care?

She is willing to work and must work hard. 5 Littles must eat. She tries to sell vegetables, but no one wants to buy what She is selling. She is shunned by her community. They turn a blind eye. She is invisible. Worse, She is dying.  How can She buy medicine? Who will see?

She is sure of many things. She is sure she loves 5 Littles. She is sure She wants to have hope and a future. And yet, She has no hope and is unsure of her future. She is unsure of how long She will be able to take care of 5 Littles. She is unsure of how She will survive in a world that seems darker each passing day. Surely, there is someone who can show her a better way, a better life. But who? Who? 

Then, She is seen by CARE for AIDS. She is heard. She is helped. She is cared for and loved. She receives wise counsel, medicine, and food for her family. She is taught a new trade which will supply money to care for 5 Littles. CARE for AIDS knows there is LIFE BEYOND AIDS. She is valuable in God’s eyes; therefore, She is valuable to CARE for AIDS.

She is redeemed.

She is renewed.

She has hope and a future.

We want to invite you to join our team across East Africa and the US in praying for our clients and their nations during this season of Lent. You can access our six week Lenten Prayer Guide here.  


Go to the Gates - Ash Wednesday

At some point in the course of most of our Impact Trips we host a Vacation Bible School at a CARE for AIDS partner church. If I’m being honest, these are the days of each trip’s itinerary that stress me out the most. Wrangling hundreds of kids to play games is not my favorite way to spend the day, but I push usually through, and the Lord always reveals a beautiful truth to me through the experience.

One of the most profound VBS experiences I will always remember happened in 2014 in a community in Nairobi called Ngando. At one point in the afternoon we had the children spit into two large groups for relay races and games. As we prepared to teach the children how to play duck-duck-goose, we instructed our group to circle up and hold hands in the center of a field right inside the church compound gates. One little girl, Esther, was particularly excited, and grabbed onto my hand, jumping up and down and giggling while we waited to start the game.

As I looked around, taking an inventory of the kids, I noticed a girl standing right at the gates on the edge of the compound, shyly looking in at the fun being had. Esther caught my gaze and looked over to the girl at the gates. She looked up at me, looked at her hand holding mine, and then ran to the girl at the gates. My immediate thought was that we were now one kid down. I didn’t want her to run too far, so I almost ran after her, but before I could even call to her, Esther surprised me.

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.00.17 PM.png

She grabbed the little girl’s hand and was running with her back into the filed of the compound. Esther ushered the shy girl to my left side and placed the girls hand in mine, then resumed her place to my right, grabbed my hand again and looked up at me. She was absolutely beaming.

Esther was exited before, but including her new friend in the fun increased her joy to exuberance. 

This Ash Wednesday, as we enter into the season of Lent, I want to challenge you to run to the gate- to the margins- to those who are standing on the outside of your faith and looking in - and usher them into the coming joy. What Esther understood was that it isn’t a party unless everyone is invited. I believe the same to be true about celebrating the coming resurrection of Christ. We are called as believers to run to the margins and bring people into the joy that we have been gifted. How can you intentionally bring people into joy during this season?

We want to invite you to join our team across East Africa and the US in praying for our clients and their nations during this season of Lent. You can access our six week Lenten Prayer Guide here.

Present Grace

Today’s post comes to us from CARE for AIDS intern, Anna Wilke.

A few weeks ago we started a new sermon series at Auburn Community Church, the church I attend, called “Reframing Jesus” in which we are trying work past what we might think or have been told is true about Jesus. Instead we want to know Jesus for who He really is, who the Bible says He is.  Learning the truth about Jesus is essential because the way we, personally, see Jesus will always directly impact the way we relate to Him. A.W. Tozer says it this way, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” If we believe this is true, we have to be careful to only base our personal view of Jesus on the truth we find about Him in the Bible and throw out any assumptions and beliefs we have about Him that do not align with those truths.

The first truth about Jesus that our lead pastor, Miles Fidell, talked about is His grace that empowers us. If we are in Christ, we receive three different types of grace: past grace, present grace, and future grace. Past grace is the forgiveness we received for all our sins when Christ died on the cross for us; it means we no longer have to be separated from God. Future grace is the promise of Heaven and an eternal life spent with our Heavenly Father. Both past grace and future grace are incredible gifts that we absolutely do no deserve. However, we tend to just focus on past grace and future grace and forget about the wonderful, present grace of God. Present grace is the life Jesus offers us in the here and now; one of His greatest desires for us is that we would actually live, not just exist. John 10:10 says that He came to give us an abundant life. Jesus is not only forgiveness for our past and the hope for our future, He is life now!

Like me, you might be wondering how we are supposed to continually abide in the abundant life Jesus has given us, Miles says this, “The present grace of God comes from being in the presence of God.” Coming back into our Father’s presence can be daunting if you have been running from Him, but receiving grace means that when you come back to God, it’s like you never left. Romans 8:26 says that the Holy Spirit is constantly interceding on our behalf, even when we are running. Grace tells us that we can turn around whenever we want to, we just have to be willing. Our Father desires for us to spend time in His presence, He sent Jesus to end our separation from Him, so we can come into His presence confident in the fact that He is not burdened by us. The presence of God can be the place in our lives where we feel most comfortable and confident because we know we are always wanted in the presence of God.

If you want to listen to Miles’s full sermon “Reframing Jesus: Grace in the Presence,” and I highly recommend it, here is the link:


Meet Melanie

This morning’s post is from another new US team member, Melanie Passons.


One day last year, I had a conversation with my friend, Justin Miller, about the future ... Where was God leading me next and what was He placing on my heart? This conversation prompted new ideas and goals, and a year later I now look back on God’s providence with overwhelming gratitude as I begin my role at CARE for AIDS in Nashville, TN. I’m so grateful that God brought me here and humbled to be a part of this beautiful journey.

Let’s back up about three decades! I was born and raised in Memphis, TN, an eclectic city (and BBQ capital of the world) that taught me the importance of loving people well. My childhood can be summed up in one word: happy! My wonderful family is my rock that kept me smiling and laughing through every ballet recital, talent show, church production, and more.

I attended the University of Tennessee where I studied political science, history, and college football (Go VOLS!). After graduation, I completed several political internships while studying and applying to graduate school. The following two years at The George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service were a deep dive into geopolitics and the ways in which various cultures communicate and cooperate with one another. I was constantly reminded that in looking at the big picture we must remember that people matter and our words and actions play a defining role in how the lives of others are shaped and changed.

After receiving my Master of International Affairs in 2014, I moved to Washington, D.C. where I served as Program Coordinator at the Rumsfeld Foundation, a terrific organization that encourages leadership, public service and free political and economic systems at home and abroad. This unique experience not only provided many occasions to learn and grow, but also solidified my passion for building relationships, communicating a mission, sharing stories, and creating change.

Throughout my academic studies and work experience, I’ve had the opportunity to travel across the globe. From Wales to Israel, Tajikistan to China, these adventures abroad have opened my eyes and my heart to the extraordinary world around me. I have found that where there is hurt, there is also joy; where there is violence, there is also peace; where there is sickness, there is also healing.

Likewise, the profound impact that CARE for AIDS has had on those living with HIV/AIDS in East Africa can be seen in the joy, peace, and healing that many of our program graduates now experience every day. Lives are being transformed, both physically and spiritually, and to play even a small role in this work is humbling. I can’t wait to meet our dedicated staff in Africa as well as our courageous clients who are taking important steps toward living a full and healthy life.

There is something so special behind the doors of CARE for AIDS. I am thankful that God opened those doors to me and I am excited to be a part of what is to come. I hope you will join us as we empower people to live a life beyond AIDS.


Meet Kara

This morning’s post is from the newest member of the US CARE for AIDS team, Kara Stanley. Kara joined the team as our Impact Trip Coordinator the first week of January- help us welcome her to the family!

First off, let me say how thankful I am to be on the CARE for AIDS team! The journey that has brought me here took me all over the world, literally, and it is an honor to have landed here.

I am from sweet home Alabama, born and raised. Football fans, don’t hold it against me! My family bounced all over the state and eventually settled in south Alabama. I have three sisters- I know, my poor dad. We had a lively household, to say the least. After high school, I attended Auburn University where I took part in a research study facilitated by the United Nations World Food Programme. We analyzed impoverished communities all over the world, and through this, my love of other cultures and longing to help those in need developed. After graduating from college, I worked for a church in Birmingham, AL in their events department. During this time my desire to serve the nations grew and grew and eventually led to almost 3 years on the mission field, mainly in the Middle East working with refugees and displaced peoples. My heart has always been drawn toward the marginalized, the overlooked, and the misunderstood, and serving in that region was, for lack of a better word, incredible. Serving in the Middle East, especially as an American woman, was such a joy- I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything.

I have been extremely blessed to travel all over the world and serve with various people groups. I have seen God move and draw His children to Himself in the most creative and spectacular ways, and inviting others into that process is such a thrill! I am so excited to now do this through CARE for AIDS. The methodology of CFA is impacting and changing communities like I have never seen before, and the vision is so close to the heart of God! What an honor it is to play a part. I am so excited to be joining the CARE for AIDS family, and I cannot wait to get started and get to know you all!