Fighting the Good Fight
Pastor Pepuzani Zulu of Light House Church in Chifubu community has mobilized his church (members) to be an example in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The Church strongly believes that, PLWHA were also created in the image of God. The Pastor challenged the church membership to take initiative by contributing HBC kits which the HBC Volunteers were using when visiting PLWHA in their church/community. The church members contributed kits such as; antiseptic soap, Jik, Chlorine, cotton wool, latex gloves, Vaseline, pain-killer tablets. This church effort was to supplement JC provision with a view of taking ownership of such programs as a local church. During this period, Volunteers used simple plastic bags carrying the kits as they could not afford to purchase recommended bags by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Zambia.
This initiative was arrived at by the church during the time when JC did not supply the kits for more than One Year (since 2011 – 2012 September 2012). The initiative enabled the Volunteers to effectively visit bedridden patients – PLWHA using these kits the church members provided; therefore patients have continued to receive love, care and other forms of support. As a result of this church initiative, hope has been restored in the lives of PLWHA. The churches (Volunteers) are grateful to God, donors and JC for facilitating the training of HBC Volunteers in providing basic care to PLWHA.
HIV positive, But Still Pursuing My Dreams
Being HIV+ does not mean the end of hope and life. Edith Kaumba, 33 years old, married with 5 children, from United Methodist Church in Chibuluma community, is an example to many people who are both HIV+ and HIV. In September 2010, she was discharged from JC food support and received a grant of ZMK 250,000 from JC as financial empowerment. She invested the funds in a small-scale business of selling paraffin, pop corns and baking of fritters/donuts. After being in the same business for six months and made a profit of ZMK 1,000,000, she decided to change the business to selling groceries. Currently, she has a make shift grocery store right at her house where she’s selling groceries. This business is enabling her to provide for her family. She’s also able to provide three meals in a day for her family and able to provide school support (fees/requirements) to her 5 children. This was not so previously. Before receiving the grant, her family used to go hungry for the whole day or may have one meal per day. But now this is a thing of the past. Her husband is also HIV+ and has been away from their home for the past 2 years now. He has been taken to his home village in the North Western Zambian awaiting his recovery. Life has completely changed for better compared to her and her family used to live before the JC financial empowerment. Indeed God answers prayer through using other people.
Yes I Can Make It
I have refused to allow HIV to robe me of my potential in life. In 1999, Mrs. Hildah Zulu Niyirenda – married, now has 3 children was diagnosed with TB and put on TB drugs. Because of not managing to have proper food, my health deteriorated so fast and I lost weight in no time. Then in 2000, Apostolic Faith Mission included me on JC food support through our church. In 2002 I decided to test for HIV and was found to be HIV+ and was immediately put on ART. As I continued to received or benefit from the food support, I started to gain weight and strength, and started a small business of selling groceries on a small make shift store close to our home. With this business, she makes a profit of ZMK 150,000/month and she’s able to contribute to the financial needs of her family.
In the bible, we see the story of Moses and how God turns his life around in a miraculous way, we also read about the story of Joseph and how he went through unimaginable circumstances and without knowing God uses him to change the course of a nation. Forward thousands of years later we see the stories of Hilda Zulu Nyirenda, Edith Kaumba, and pastor Pepuzani Zulu, it doesn’t matter what generation, God uses extraodinary ways to make a difference, There are miracle all around us and God is changing lives, we just have to be interested to see.