Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Interesting Food, Good People and Tea
Today was a good day for the Care Support Team. We were asked to spend the day training two separate groups of people. Lay counselors serve in hospital and clinic settings and give pre and post counseling to HIV pts. Life Skills Educators work in schools, townships and community centers all over the city. They provide government funded prevention education, creating safe environments for kids, meeting physical needs by providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and teaching about Jesus. Each group has high stressed jobs as they deal with life threatening illness, drug, alcohol and sexual abuse on day to day bases. Some days Lay counselors could potentially tell up to 10 different pts that they have HIV.
We started the morning playing the “Human Knot” game. Good times! Lots of awkward moments but a great way to get to know one another. They spent some time mapping out their journeys, and talking about what is stress and how they might deal with it on a day to day basis. We broke for tea-which is ironic in this setting but very British of them. We had small group discussion where the counselors had a time to vent. One of the life skills educator shared a story about a little boy who came to one of the after schools club. He showed up with chicken pox and they told him that he couldn’t come. He showed up the next day and said he knew he shouldn’t be there but could he at least have his sandwich because he was hungry. Our group couldn’t fight back tears.
We had the opportunity(if you can call it that) to eat some native food. Minced Beef and Vegetables that had a cinnamon, minty flavor with rice and a side of mashed pumpkin! I asked Jean-Luc, from the Congo, who was sitting next to me what we were having and he said “I don’t know I just eat it”
We spent the afternoon goal setting and praying for them. We really do think it was an effective time. They were so appreciative of our approach to this training. We went in asking to hear their stories and boy did they talk. I would venture to say that we learned more from their faithfulness and passion and deep love for their community. These men and women love with purity.
Tomorrow we get to be with support group leaders! We will cover how to lead a Bible study, what is self worth, and how to be a support group leader. So more details to come!
I am thankful for Leanne, Brent, Laural, Sam, Brittany, Julie, Tammy, and Lesli and for their sensitivity to the hardships that were discussed today. It is hard to hear the stories and the hardships that these people encounter daily but our team has approached each opportunity using knowledge and encouragement. I think we are all learning to trust in the HOPE of Jesus as our Healer.