Yesterday was a day of contrasts.

We listened for 3 hours to a lecture on HIV/AIDS. It was pointed out that “Statistics are numbers with the tears washed off”. Notwithstanding the thorough washing it was difficult no to be overwhelmed by the extent of the suffering and the difficulty to bring change.

The other half of the day we attended a graduation ceremony at the Faith Alive Clinic. A large group of HIV positive men and women completed their training in sewing, knitting and computer. It was a 2 hour ceremony of speeches, singing, clapping, sitting down and standing up. It was wonderful to see the pride and joy on the faces of the graduates who had completed their vocational training and were offered a sewing machine or knitting machine, so that, with the support of antiretroviral drugs and the love extended to them through Faith Alive, they can go out into the world and become a productive self sufficient citizen equipped with their faith, skills and the means to provide for themselves and their families for the remaining 4 to 6 years of their lives. During the singing, the joy in their voices and the glow on their faces told the world that they have heard and understood Jesus’ words in Matthew 28: “And surely, I am with you always to the end of the age….

Theo D Beels 11/9/08


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