This morning's post comes to us from the newest member of the CARE for AIDS team, Summer Intern Anna Wilke!
I grew up about 20 miles south of Atlanta in Fayetteville, Georgia with my parents and one younger brother. My family and I were very involved in activities at our school and in our local church. I am currently a junior at Auburn University with a major in Nutrition Dietetics and a minor in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies. At Auburn I am very involved in my church, my sorority, and recruiting for the football team. In my free time I love drinking coffee, reading, traveling, being outside, and spending time with my family and friends.
In high school I had the opportunity to travel to Kenya twice and spend time talking and sharing with Kenyan students. It was on these trips that I got a glimpse of what CARE for AIDS is doing in live and communities there. I was able to visit some of the centers in Nairobi and go on a few home visits with the Kenyan staff. While visiting these centers I really fell in love with CARE for AIDS and their mission to love and care for families affected by HIV/AIDS.
On my very first home visit I met Mary, who really brought the mission of CARE for AIDS to life for me when she invited us into her small, one-room home and told us her story. Mary had a husband and four children all of whom abandoned her when she learned her HIV+ status. While in the CARE for AIDS program Mary was working toward her financial independence and had begun to have a relationship with her four children again. Mary did not speak English so she used a translator to tell us her story. Before we said goodbye to Mary the leader of our group asked if we could pray over her, and while I don’t remember exactly what we said I remember Mary starting to cry during the prayer, and what she said afterward has stuck with me ever since. She said that even though she didn’t understand what we were saying she could feel how much God loved her and the redeeming work He was doing in her life. In meeting Mary, I caught just a glimpse of the love, respect, and support that CARE for AIDS shows their clients and it got me so excited for the work they are doing!
I love the holistic approach that CARE for AIDS uses to love individuals and families and I am looking forward to being apart of it this summer! I am so excited to see how God uses my time working alongside and learning from the CARE for AIDS team this summer!!