We met Maseeng for the first time in Lesotho in April 2005. She was part of a group that came to participate in a sewing seminar. This sewing seminar is a part of a program that AAIM Adventist Aids International Ministries conducts to help HIV positive people with income generating activities.
Maseeng was thin, pale, and when talking to her we could sense that she was very alone and depressed. As the sewing seminar was taking place, and people became acquainted with each other, they started to share their personal testimonies and give each other support.
Day by day the solemn expressions started to change into smiles and friendships began to form. We were observing everyone, but Maseeng was very special. We were able to see through her beautiful eyes that she was hurting. We approached her and she opened up to us and told us her story.
Maseeng is an elementary school teacher and some time ago she became infected with HIV. As time went by she became weaker and weaker and very discouraged to the point that she was giving up with life. It was at that time that she decided to come to the sewing seminar and become part of this support group.
Among the participants of this group, Maseeng was able to find people that were loving and caring. This is how the healing process started for her. Some days later Maseeng was not only smiling and singing but she was also dancing with joy. Maseeng was not alone anymore. She had a new group of friends, people that were in the same situation that she was in. People that understood her, that did not judge her, and just cared for her.
Today, Maseeng has gained weight, color has come back to her face, and she is full of life and joy. Maseeng is back at work, she now runs her own day care center during the day. In the evenings she directs and trains a support group formed up of women from the surrounding community. They come together to learn how to sew, and to support each other, with love and friendship. Also, each Sabbath, a newly formed group of people from the community comes to worship at Maseeng’s place.This afternoon, we called Maseeng, she is doing wonderfully, she is full of life and she is praising the Lord for everything that He has done for her.
The Unconditional Love and Compassion of Jesus-Christ …!!!
Jesus said: “Come, follow me…, and I will make you fishers of men”
E.G. White in her book, The Ministry of Healing, p. 143: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them ‘Follow me’.”
Pastor Julio V. Mendez, Jr., South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) Youth Director, summarized this quotation in six C’s as Christ’s method alone that will bring success.
1. CONTACT – He mingled with men
2. CONCERN – as One who desired their good
3. COMPASSION – He showed His sympathy for them
4. CARE – He ministered to their needs
5. CONFIDENCE – He won their confidence
6. CONVERSION – He bade them “Follow Me.”
Let’s involve as many lay church members as possible in this ministry of love and compassion.
If we want to save the youth from AIDS, we also need to involve young people in all our in-reach and outreach activities
Pastor Mendez mentioned that “So far, the best tried program for the young people has been the community service projects. My suggestion is, let us re-program all our activities geared toward doing community services as demonstrated successfully in Thailand, so we see best results in youth outreach.” (From youth.gc.adventist.org /gbnews/2004-issues/February)
Are we ready?