Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Some Thoughts

"When communities set expectations about the sexual behaviour of young people, they must also create an environment where that behaviour is possible," said David Stanton, a clinical epidemiologist at USAID.

I came across this quote when I was preparing for my presentation yesterday. There are 2 new things I've heard since coming back to Beautiful Gate and getting involved again in HIV/Aids work.

We encourage abstinence because it is the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV infection. But we often don't understand the situation young people, particularly girls, are in. Now, if it is known that a girl is abstaining from sexual contact, she is more likely a target for rape, and therefore at risk for HIV infection. There is still a myth spreading around that HIV can be cured by sleeping with a virgin. Please pray for the young people here to hear and know and be transformed by LOVE &TRUTH!

When I was here last, the prevalence of HIV infection was 1/5 in South Africa. It is now 1/4. This makes me so sad. It also makes me wonder what it is we really need to do to reach into this dying, confused, suffering world to bring LIFE, HOPE, LOVE? I can feel it sometimes, living here in the township, the desperation; the fear. But I also feel the strength of this place. How it fights. Please pray for the communities to be changed from within and for people like us, coming from wealthy, developed nations, to minister in humility and love; to have teachable hearts.

I can't end off this entry without mentioning some of the very positive things going on around me. The children here at Beautiful Gate for instance, are for the most part healthy and happy. Some have gone back to their families, some have been placed in foster families. The older children are going to school now and have the opportunity to interact with other kids in the community.

We have 25 students coming to our school and almost all want to place themselves somewhere where they can minister in the field of HIV/Aids work. 25 students can go to many places and reach out to many lives! We are praying for one student, from Nigeria, to continue the work our friend Rahim had started there before he passed away.

So despite the overwhelming statistics and the seemingly hopeless situation, I trust in "the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).


auntie shannon said...

Uuhhn, Nicole my okniksikoa love - I see that there is a new posting on your blog and I am all excited. But then I consider starting to read it and already I am feeling sort of sour grapes - because when I've done reading it - that's all there will have been, and you still won't be here!! ...what did God say in that sunset a month ago? Something like "it's not about a moment. Trust me for beyond the moment" and then the sunset lasted for like 4 hours and chased us all the way home on the highway...

And then there's also the fact that duh - it's not about me. So I will get past my sour grapes and read...

hmm. Yup. it's not about a fleeting moment - is it? It's about God and just being ready - ready to laugh, to love, to rebuke...

well, this is your blog - So I'll go exposit somewhere else. Thanks for filling us in on what's going on in your world Nix. we wuv woo.

Nicole said...

That was a great sunset!

Rob Scott said...

I find myself with tearing eyes as I read this entry in your blog. I'm praying for you and the suffering community around you.

One in four!? I don't even know what to write about that, except to thank you for having the guts and heart to do something to help.

God bless,

roomie said...

Hey Nicole,
How did the presentations go? I pray God continues to strengthen you as you minister and equip people in the desperate situations around you. Our prayers are with you,

Byron and Justine