Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Holy Ground and HIV
It's amazing where you become aware of the presence of God. Jacob had a dream in the middle of no-where, and when he woke up he said that God is in this place, and I did not know it. Never in a million years would I think I would be aware of God's presence in the places God made himself known in Kenya. One place I was made aware was an HIV testing room at Beacon of Hope. Beacon of Hope is a holistic ministry center designed to empower women who are HIV positive. They provide nutritional guidance, a school for their kids, classes to learn a skill in order to survive, Bible studies, and support groups. It really is an incredible place. They also provide medical attention for these ladies (and a few men). One of the services they provide is HIV testing. Our whole team was tested for HIV (so was Barak Obama. In fact there is a poster over there that reads Barak Obama knows his status, do you? That's just awesome). The man who did most of our testing, and who did mine, was named Jacob. Jacob is 26 and grew up in Kibera slum. I came in, and he greeted me. We talked about what HIV is and isn't, and also how you can get it and cannot. We talked about my own sex life, and I told him that I am saving myself for marriage. He taught me the "Neema chill" with the peace sign, which is an abstinence movement in Kenya, and then took my blood. It takes about 30 minutes to show the results, so we sat there and talked for 30 minutes. Jacob is probably the most dynamic Christian I have ever met. He grew up in extreme poverty and the problems that come with poverty. HIV/AIDS, drugs, alcohol abuse, and crime were and still are rampant in the area he grew up in. When Jacob was 15, a friend of his led him to Christ, and it dramatically changed his life. Jacob said for the first time he had hope for a better life, that life was worth living. The problems did not stop after receiving Christ for Jacob. He told me that he's had a brother and sister, and 15 other friends die from HIV/AIDS. Through these experiences Jacob told me that God revealed to him that he had to help out some how. He didn't have the grades or money to get into medical school, but got certified to administer HIV tests. He told me that everyone who comes into that room, he prays for, and has seen 100's of people come to Christ as a result of him sharing during that 30 minute time period it takes to get the results. As I'm sitting there, in a room no bigger than most people's bathrooms, I realized God is in that room, and I, I did not know it.