“A feeling of death ran through my body, as though the soil underneath me was split.”
In these dramatic words, Elizabeth describes her reaction to her HIV diagnosis in 1990.
Like most Kenyans, Elizabeth was raised in a Christian family. Her family could not afford basic needs, and there were frequent quarrels among her seven siblings. Desperately seeking peace and prosperity, Elizabeth and her family, including her parents and grandparents, became involved in witchcraft. They spent the little that they had in paying the witch doctors who kept on deceiving them. Not surprisingly, they didn’t find the peace they sought.
In fact, at the time of her diagnosis Elizabeth was already in the stage of full-blown AIDS. After a hospital stay she was discharged and was staying with her aged parents, who were struggling to provide her with food and other necessities.
One day a friend invited Elizabeth to their church in Kangemi for a Sunday service, and after the sermon she received Christ as her personal savior. At the church she met some brothers and sisters in Christ who encouraged her to pray and read God’s word. They also introduced her to a HIV/AIDS support group, which happened to be part of the CARE for AIDS ministry. Elizabeth found peace in God’s word. Since receiving the Lord, “I often sense His presence, His guidance and protection for me wherever I go.”
God had another gift for Elizabeth – having joined the CARE for AIDS center, Elizabeth’s physical condition continued to improve. “At the time I came to God, my physical body was very weak since I was in the last stages of HIV/AIDS – I could hardly walk”, she remembers.
“But praise God… a miracle just happened. My CD-4 count improved, I started gaining weight, and my health came back to me.” Nowadays, she even goes with the group to visit people affected by HIV/AIDS in hospitals to offer encouragement and share the Good news of Jesus Christ.
Jesus provides strength and uses us as a channel of blessings to others, to show people the way to God and expand His Kingdom.
Moving Forward, Elizabeth is filled with new life in Christ, and the ground is firm and steady beneath her feet. “I know the coming years of my life will not be easy,” she admits, “but the Lord will never leave me. He will provide for my needs and strengthens me.”
How can you see your life as a channel of blessings this week? How has God uniquely prepared you to minister to others?