this is important. there’s been some talk lately of whether or not the “emerging church” has forgotten the poor and oppressed. these issues are very dear to my heart. with that in mind, please check out the DATA link to the left. this is the organization co-founded by bono to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. there are some excellent, concrete ways to address this crisis, including an entire “faith in action” section that includes bible study outlines, etc.
at least 75% of my girls in bombay came to us with HIV or AIDS. I know for certain that chitra is dead now, and probably poonam. there is hardly any medicine available to them, and many have gone without being diagnosed. chitra’s face is one that has been so vivid in my mind the past few days. i’ve been so teary everytime she flashes into my consciousness. she was so beautiful, and had this child-like aura that most of our girls had lost a long time ago.
AIDS is something that i’m passionate about. my student practicum was in HIV case management, and was one of the best jobs i ever had. that was back when people were learning to actually live with AIDS, instead of just accepting it as a death sentence. for many in the u.s., it is possible now to live a long, healthy time. but for most of africa and asia, the death sentence still exists. and even here, death is very much a reality, especially for those who don’t think they’re at risk…
in september, i got to go to the u.s. conference on HIV/AIDS in new orleans. i expected to learn a lot, and have a lot of fun with the gay party-boy activists. instead, i spent most of the time feeling like i was in church. the american AIDS community is talking a lot about spiritual healing right now. i think that’s probably directly related to the growing response of the african-american church in the u.s. movement. all i know is that the Spirit was there.