Showing posts with label HIV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HIV. Show all posts

World Aids Day

The world seems to have gotten a bit complacent about AIDS and the devastating effect it has so it takes a bit of shock tactics to get the world to sit up and listen.
Hopefully Willy the Tourist might help to do this.

HOPE (Hands On, Prayer & Evangelism) Home Based Care Team video produced for our 2010 mission education trip to the UK. We used this video as part of our main Powerpoint presentation.

This video is a follow up to our previous HOPE video

Ups & Downs

I think it's fair to say that I'm not known for my administrative skills, in fact I would go so far as to say that I actively seek to avoid such unpleasantness but there are times when it is simply impossible to ignore the stack of jobs that just won't do the decent thing and go away.

This morning was a rare morning in that not only did I get a lot of the yucky admin jobs done but they seem to have been done quite well (even if I say so myself). I guess time will be the better judge of this but I'm optimistic that my efforts will stand the test.

Treats & Blessings

Regular readers of our blog may remember Paula writing about the fundraiser she attended recently for the Christmas party for children who attend the ARV clinic at our local hospital (Down To Earth With A Bump). During the event the lady who owns the restaurant in the Nature Reserve invited Paula to bring her HOPE ladies for a treat lunch one day. So, today was the elected day and following our morning visiting in Chris Nissen, Paula and a friend transported the ladies to the Reserve for a real treat!

Amazing Weeks

Ever since we responded to a specific prophetic word given to the church 3 weeks ago it seems that God is really blessing us with a fresh anointing in ways that we haven't seen for years. It really is so exciting to see God at work.

Here is Paula's testimony of the last 3 weeks... Since my incredible encounter with God that Sunday morning God is giving me a new boldness and I am seeing breakthroughs. During the HIV course our trainer was unable to speak one morning (a bit of a blow for us all!). I decided to ask if I could pray for her. She readily accepted and I prayed in front of the whole class. Immediately, God restored her voice and she continued as if nothing had been wrong - wow! As a result of seeing this, one of the delegates approached me at break time and asked me to pray for a very specific medical condition she had. As I prayed with another of the ladies from church we sensed a heat building up from our hands into her body. She felt as if the area that had grown hot was 'unplugged' and we are now waiting on God for her total miraculous healing - thank you Lord!

Down To Earth With A Bump

By the time this blog entry is completed 15 people will become infected with HIV in South Africa. 1 out of every 5 people are believed to be HIV+ One thousand people die every day of AIDS. It is projected that there will be 18 million AIDS orphans in SA by 2010. Sobering statistics or what! This is one of the main reasons why we know God is calling us to be here in SA. Never mind swine flu! - we are living with a pandemic and it is true to say that if you aren't infected with HIV, then you will certainly be affected by it. Not only do we need to get real about our response as individuals, but also as a church. For this reason Paula and a couple of other women from the church are attending a Counselling in HIV/AIDS course all of this week. This is a big commitment in terms of work, time and finance, but we believe as a church that, like Jesus, we must care for the kind of people many would consider 'outcasts'.

Feeding Programme

Our feeding programme in CNP continues to go well and As has become custom over the last few years, once a month we deliver food to some of the neediest folk in the community. Today we bought the food (made possible by the Phillipi Trust and St.George's Weald) for our 13 HOPE home based care patients. This is a monthly venture and really blesses the families concerned, particularly in these days of huge price rises. It is quite a big task, but, together with our local supermarket, we are finally getting a system together that runs like clockwork! We then use the bakkie to pile all the food in before taking it off for house to house deliveries - you should see the smiles on people's faces and hear their thanks!! It's very humbling.

It's always alarming to see how quickly an epidemic can become a pandemic. scarily though this particular pandemic transcended the normal route by skipping the epidemic stage and going straight into the full-blown pandemic status.

This is a pandemic that really should have the world seriously concerned! We've seen many ridiculous media events and stories over the years but the speed with which this Media Stupidity Pandemic took hold has truly broken any previous record!

Today I drove with Lizbeth, one of the HOPE carers to our local hospital to visit one of our patients who was admitted on Saturday. Both of us had visited individually prior to this, but it was so good to go together and really have a good chat as well as taking some essentials to A. A is one of our classic patients who is too scared to admit to why she is really sick. This makes it difficult when she is admitted to hospital. This time however, she has suffered a stroke; has TB and pneumonia, all of which has caused her body to swell up, so she has been in quite a bad way.

As part of World AIDS Day the BBC News is running a photo journal entitled: Lesotho Aids diary - Joseph's day.

This gives a great insight into life in some of the more rural places in southern Africa. It also highlights how the likes of Joseph are the real unsung heroes of the battle against HIV.

World AIDS Day

Did you know that today, 1 December, is World Aids Day? Sadly this day often gets lost in the busy’ness of the season or, more tragically, because people don’t see the point of it.

As you know, either from our blogging or from hearing us speak in England this summer, the effects of HIV/AIDS are a crucial element of our life and ministry here in South Africa.

Grieving And Rejoicing

Today has been a very sad day. We learnt this morning that our friend and patient in CNP who has recently got on to ARV treatment died. She had been very sick in the past week, but we never thought that this was it. Paula took her to the clinic on Tuesday and they immediately admitted her to the hospital where she stayed until her death. Thankfully, Paula, one of our carers and the family were all able to visit her in the final week and spent some quality time talking and praying with her.

HIV Training

Please pray for Paula and the HOPE home based care team who are attending a week's training course at Jubilee in Cape Town on HIV/AIDS. This is a great, practical course that will really help them in their day to day work in CNP. It has been sobering so far to learn the up to date stats relating to the pandemic, but so exciting to listen to a church leader preaching on the church's response to HIV/AIDS and to realise that we are at the cutting edge of this and are here to motivate the rest of the church now.

GoLD Peer Education

On Friday evening we had the privilege of attending the Ukuthasa Peer education Mentor Gala Evening held at our church premises. Charmaine who heads up the project really pulled all the stops out and put on a fantastic evening for us all!

Home Based Care

Paula joined the home based care team as usual yesterday for a morning of visiting our 10 'patients'. This is always a special time and yet can be full of frustration. One man has recently had a second stroke and has been discharged from hospital after just 5 days. He is now bedridden and incontinent and his sister-in-law has had to give up work (the only family income) to care for him. There will be no visits from a health-care professional - he has simply been left to get on with it. The care team visit him 3 or 4 times a week to ease the burden, but it is clear that this is not enough. This is going to be a typical situation for the team. On the other side, 3 other men we visit are doing very well, taking their medication and getting stronger. We had excellent times of prayer and reading the Bible with them. However, as the men gain strength, they realise how bored they are without work. This is another big social problem we are up against. It is hard to encourage people when their self-esteem is at an all time low. 

Together We Can Do More

Paula had the extreme privilege of flying to Joburg to attend the NFI southern Africa forum on the churches' response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in our nations. She was one of 30 people in attendance. Many run reasonably well established, thriving projects, either as part of their church response to the pandemic or as projects attached to a body of local churches, and others were there (like Paula) representing small new beginnings of HIV/AIDS work.

A Wake-Up Moment

I had another of those life-changing wake-up moments yesterday during my visiting in CNP. My ladies had been telling me about a woman called Mary (name changed to protect identity) who has recently been very sick with AIDS. They very much wanted me to visit and pray with her and see what the little home based care team can start to offer her. I was thrilled about this as I have wanted to meet her for some time. I was greeted outside the house by a stick thin woman carrying a big basket of washing and a huge smile on her face. I couldn't believe this was Mary, I was expecting a very sick person lying in bed, probably in a very smelly house. How wrong could I be. Mary is amazing! She has been very sick but is coming through the latest dose of illness. She had been to the clinic that morning and got more ARV's and Vitamin C. We sat and chatted about the importance of a good diet, which she fully understands. The problem is that she needs to eat before taking the pills or they make her very sick, and at the moment, there is no family income as neither she nor her partner work.

World Aids Day

We know we're a few days late, but thought we'd post something anyway.

Part of the difficulty in posting on this is that here in South Africa things are far from straightforward. Firstly, we have a government which is in denial with the nations approach to HIV/AIDS treatment, & awareness raising being overseen by a health minister who is at best laughable and at worst downright objectionable! She is know as Dr. Beetroot or as the Minister of Garlic as she favours just about any treatment except ARV's. Recently, she was interviewed at the launch of a new 'traditional' medicine in a rural area, but the medicine hadn't even been licensed by the relevant authorities. This is all very frustrating and leaves one feeling very marginalised when trying to get ARV's and counseling for those who need it.

Paula Back On The Circuit

Paula went back in to Chris Nissen on Friday for the first time since Christmas week and all our activity collecting Eli and getting ourselves used to being new parents!! 'Her ladies' were so pleased to see her again, but can't really understand why she won't take Eli in to see them there yet. We are doing this purely for health reasons in that Eli's BCG jab takes 3 months to kick in and the TB rate in CNP is so high that we can't take the risk. Maybe, making this stand ourselves as a family will shake people up to take their medication and see what a serious problem TB is in the community.

Lots Of Illness

Patrick remains in hospital but is very confused and quite upset. He really wants to see his wife (Aunty Kuku) but she doesn't want to go to the hospital and is enjoying the break from him, which she really needs!

Lorraine was taken to hospital last night as her stomach had swollen dramatically.

Ben collapsed in CNP this afternoon, Dean wasn't there but thankfully another volunteer was and he's a Dr so was able to help. The ambulance was called and Ben is now in hospital, so Dean will see him tomorrow.