Friday, September 3, 2010

Part 5: What to Do, Now that You Know

If you haven’t been reading my series on HIV, I’d love for you to start reading at the beginning. For those of you who have been reading it, then I hope you agree when I say that the HIV topic has been convoluted by fear and lies for far too many years.

I've titled this post, "What to Do, Now That You Know."  You may be saying, "Sure, I read the whole series so far, but what do I know? I don't know anything."  True, I haven't covered much. I hope my list of facts tomorrow will help.  But here is what you do know:  HIV is not what you think it is.  That is enough to cause you to do your own research.  Make sure your sources are current. You will be surprised.  The disease we labled in the 1980's as a roaring lion has been tamed into a sleeping kitten.  With medication, that is.  For those who have little access to medical care, AIDS is still a horrific mass murderer.

Here is the most important thing that you know:  God loves everyone who is affected by HIV, and God will lovingly empower you to help when you step out in faith. As God’s children, it is time for us to act.

Here are my ideas:
  • Pray about whether you should adopt a child with HIV. For every reassurance I’ve given you about how manageable HIV is under proper medical care, I can counter it by the deaths caused by untreated AIDS. Parenting an HIV+ child means saving a life.

  • Advocate against the HIV/AIDS stigma.

  • Find the closest HIV clinic and ask if they need help counseling patients. When we met with the patient advocate at our local infectious disease clinic, we asked her whether she ever had patients die anymore. She said yes. But it was not for lack of medical care. It was because adults who contract HIV only know the 1980’s doom and gloom version of the "facts." Often times, patients become so depressed after diagnosis that they never rebound. They never hear the hope. And so they never take their medicines. It is like a slow suicide. Ask if you can minister to these precious souls.

  • Show love to a family affected by HIV. Don't buy into the stigma.  These families are safe, and worthy, and often the most incredible people you could be blessed enough to know.  And remember, children with HIV are not a threat to your children.  (stats to come tomorrow)

  • Find an organization that fights AIDS globally, and support it. Countless groups bring HIV medications into 3rd world countries, or counsel pregnant mothers on how to avoid passing HIV to their children, or work for AIDS prevention, or encourage doubtful patients to take their medication. Join their teams. Financially support them. Volunteer with them.

  • Adopt a child orphaned by AIDS, which may not necessarily mean that the child is infected with HIV.

You’re smart. You’re creative. Perhaps you can come up with more ideas than what I have listed here.

When Christians meet needs, we are living out the Gospel. Christ is the ultimate solution to our every problem. Whenever we can be a solution – whenever we can be love – then we are a walking, breathing analogy of the ultimate Solution and Love offered through the Cross of Jesus.

This is pretty much the end of my series, other than a bullet point post tomorrow with surprising facts and figures. Please act. Be the Love of Christ.


4 comments:

Christie said...

Awesome, Rachel!

Can't wait for your last post!

You've been the Hands and Feet of Christ this week...all for His glory!

Christie

wholetthishappen said...

Hi,

I just found your series of posts and love them. We are in the beginning stages of an HIV adoption and would love to link this to my blog if that's ok?

Tova

Mandi said...

Rachel, what you have done here with this series is awesome! I know God will use these posts in a mighty way for a loooong time. You did a fantastic job, of covering all the angles in a concise way. I'll definately be sending others to your blog. Because of blog testimonies, I find myself open to Hiv+ children when it is our time to do a homestudy....I had an interesting experience in July at a baby home in Jinja Uganda. On one of our last days, we drove around visiting other orphan homes. One was an HIV+ home, that had taken in a boy that was rescued by Sonrise (where I was volunteering). We were checkin on his progress, Sonrise was heartbroken that they weren't equipped to care for him properly. Anyway, when I met Moses, he was placed in my arms. He is about 3 years old. He just nuzzled into my neck and clung to me like my own child. Blog post to come, but as the moments passed and I felt his little body melt to mine, tears just flowed down my face. Inside, I was saying, "Lord, what are you doing?" "Is this my child?" We were only there about 20 min. But I had to finally let go of him and hand him back to the director. Even my husband and others in our group recognized how Moses responded to me. We will see what the Lord has planned. Thank you for writing this series.

Sara said...

Hi Rachel, I just found your blog tonight. My husband and I are adopting from Uganda too. We're just about done with our homestudy and praying about whether we could adopt a child with HIV. Our agency is talking with us about a 15 month old girl who is HIV+. Dad recently died. Mom is dying. My heart just breaks and says yes, even though it's maybe a little crazy. But God's love is a LOT crazy. I look forward to following your story and would appreciate prayer as we consider adopting this little girl, or another HIV+ little one. Blessings!
-Sara