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You know the old saying. Time flies when you’re embedded with a grassroots social justice ministry making epic strides against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa.
I think that’s how it goes…
Let me put it another way. I can’t believe this summer is already halfway over!
Doing a Ton
If you’ve been following our adventures so far, you know that in the four short weeks we’ve been in South Africa our team members have crowded into 15-passenger public taxis, fed exotic birds, hung out with rhinos and even fought bush fires.
We’ve also put our tiny team car (named “Cornelius”) to the test. We’ve driven “Corny” through creeks, up steep and jagged hillsides, around countless cows and through crater-sized potholes. Poor Cornelius.
But all of these unique experiences pale in comparison to what we’re learning from our host ministries for the summer.
Tyler was shocked to learn the founder of Light Providers began his life’s transformation in a jail cell.
At World Changers, Jen uncovered the profound difficulties surrounding a disease no one will talk about.
Laura discovered the remarkable joy of the Makaphutu staff, loving orphaned children like their own.
And Lily of the Valley brought Brad to some startling conclusions about our usual motivations for engaging the poor and marginalized.
As for me? I’ve spent my time floating between each of the interns at their host ministries to get a bird’s-eye-view of Loving South Africa’s work in Kwazulu Natal.
Loving South Africa is what links each of our host ministries together. LSA’s leaders, based in Indianapolis, have hand-picked six grassroots partners they believe are having some of the greatest strategic impact against HIV here in Kwazulu Natal.
And let me tell you… LSA has done an outstanding job. Never before have I seen such a remarkable conglomeration of leaders working together to tackle so many different aspects of a single issue.
Take a quick tour of LSA’s partners and you will find orphan care, HIV testing, life skills classes, sustainable agriculture projects, elementary education, spiritual development… I could go on and on.
Together, these ministries are taking a comprehensive approach to the struggle against HIV. Loving South Africa’s partners really are are the tip of the spear in the epicenter of the pandemic.
The Full Spectrum
If you’re like me, easily overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of this disease, it sometimes seems like there isn’t anything we can possibly do. But LSA’s partnership with these ministries proves otherwise.
When we give our time, our skills and our money to LSA, we’re supporting all of these outstanding leaders. We’re participating in the full spectrum of care. And we can be confident that there is hope for those affected and infected by HIV in Kwazulu Natal.
That, my friends, is pretty darn cool.
So stay plugged in with our team as we continue to discover what God is doing here. I guarantee things are going to get even more incredible as the summer goes on!
p.s. Check out the Next Steps below to see how to stay engaged!
- All of our team members’ articles have “Next Steps” like these at the end. Don’t forget to take a look to see a variety of ways to act on what you’ve read.
- Like I mentioned above, giving financially to Loving South Africa directly supports the work of each of these incredible ministries. Check out how to donate.
- Follow WND on Facebook (click here) and Twitter (click here) to get updates about articles and see more great photos and videos not found on our website.
- Finally, click here to sign up for weekly email “digests” of the latest World Next Door content so you never miss an article!
About the Author: Barry is the founder and director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.