The who’s who in HIV intervention
The people of God were crying in misery, not knowing who will hear, how to pray, who God was, not belonging to a specific established religion, not having a very “blessed” leader who knew all the ropes to move God’s sympathy…. They were just lamenting their pain and suffering, crying into an unknown heaven. And God said to Moses: I have heard them crying out… I am concerned about their suffering…..I have come down to rescue them…..
The first people we meet in this story are the people of God in distress, not knowing how to pray correctly….and God heard them! Suffering people are always heard by God. Human suffering is always noticed by God. And it does not matter to what religion you belong, how holy you are, how much sin you have, or how a good/bad person you are, or if you pray according to a specific formula, or to a specific church leader… God is a God who notices our suffering. That is why Jesus came to this world to save sinners, even before we could repent. He loved us first…
In South Africa HIV and AIDS is often a symptom of severe poverty, making people (especially women and young girls) more vulnerable to unprotected high risk sexual encounters. They are often the victims to dysfunctional health services. Their family support systems are also often weak and vulnerable. Even churches so often turn a cold shoulder to these people….. But the story we read says: God sees their tears…God knows their suffering… they need not do one, and two, and three, before God will react. They already qualify for His attention, because He is a caring, loving God who hears, comes down and intervenes…..
What an awesome God we serve! In the affected communities He is the primary role player, the One who acts, come down, and rescues.
But HOW does God intervene, come into people’s lives and respond to their many needs? In the story we meet Moses, who is sent by God to free His people. Even today, this wonderful God sends people to help people in need. He sends normal people like Moses. People who often are unwilling, reluctant, with many excuses. But at the end they act, they go, they obey. In the lives of the infected and affected families, we so often find normal, imperfect, reluctant people… the least expected….who, at the end, helps and cares.
Let’s thank God for the many many Moses-like people in our country, who go back to their people and care.
Think about: Today, let us acknowledge the many Moses-like men and women in the lives of people affected by HIV. Let us thank God for the obedient, the willing in families and churches, who are God’s hands and feet in our communities.
Written by Dr Lourens Schoeman, Chairperson of the CMD Usizo Aids Trust, Ladysmith, KZN. This organization capacitates ordinary people, family members, youth, to heal their own communities.