FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

Hopeful Stories from Living Hope Community Centre

Living Hope 1

_An update from *Anne Mackellar*, Public Relations Officer at the *Living Hope Community Centre* in South Africa, which is supported by Mocha Club funds. Living Hope’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in the Deep South of Cape Town, South Africa. Medical personnel at four Living Hope branches treat more than 2000 people a week, and all of their personnel report a rise in HIV/AIDS patients. Each quarter more than 480 people receive pre and post test counseling from Living Hope lay counselors. Thank you for supporting us in this work!_

*Feature Stories From Living Hope*

*HIV Child Finds Hope*

All she wants for now is a new dress. She also wants to grow up and be a mother. The new dress may be easier to come by. Born HIV positive, our special child is now healthy enough to attend school but her future is uncertain. Brought up by her grandmother, this little girl who is now on anti-retroviral drugs comes each Wednesday to Living Hope’s program for children, held daily in Masiphumelele. She loves hearing about Jesus, playing with her two new friends and she says, “I like to come because we pray here.” As young as she is, she understands the power and comfort of prayer.

*Jobless No More*

Once he tested positive for the HIV virus, Mkapi was referred to Living Hope’s support program by a Living Hope counselor who is stationed at the government clinic in Masiphumelele. At the time he had no job and like many other unemployed young men, used to stand at the traffic light nearby to ask for a job or money. Today he thanks God for the love and support he receives at Living Hope. He is thankful for the money he earns as he plants carrots, lettuce, squash, pumpkin and other healthy foods in the Living Hope garden and the jewelry he makes as part of the bead work project. “I thank God every day for Living Hope,” he says.
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*Hope at the End*

For weeks Nobuntu, Living Hope’s Chaplain had prayed for Nokwanda to accept Jesus Christ as her Saviour before it was too late. Angry because of her terminally ill condition from HIV/AIDS, Nokwanda, a patient at the Living Hope Hospice, turned her face every time Nobuntu tried to talk to her about spiritual things. Many people joined Nobuntu to pray and God heard and answered. Just two days before she died, Nokwanda gave her heart to the Lord. In a voice, barely above a whisper but clear enough for Nobuntu to hear she asked, “Is it too late for me to talk to Jesus?” Led by her Chaplain she finally made her peace with God. “We do not want a single person who comes to us to die without knowing the Lord,” says Living Hope founder, John Thomas.

*Marius Finds Hope*

It is always a blessing to hear from patients at the Living Hope hospice how the loving Christian environment helps them as they literally fight for their lives against HIV/AIDS.
Marius came to Living Hope, weak and depressed from a near-fatal bout with the disease. For more than a year he was HIV positive without knowing it. Only when his constant fatigue drove him to the doctor did he learn he had HIV, contracted when blood from an infected homeless man he tried to save, got all over his hands, nicked from his work as a wire artist.” I was in shock,” he said, “I just could not believe it.”

At Living Hope Marius is being nursed back to health. “I love it here, this place is beautiful,” Marius says. But perhaps the best part of his Living Hope experience is his restored relationship with God. “Before, because of the things I did, I was scared of God, I ran away from God,” Marius said. “I am not scared to die any more, I had to give my whole life to Him and now I depend on Him.”

*Traditional Healers Ask For Help*

More than 80 percent of South Africans believe in the traditional healing methods practiced by “sangomas” or village healers. Many people with HIV/AIDS go first to these medicine men and women for help. It was with joy and thanks to God that Living Hope responded to a cry for help from a group of sangomas last June. They came for a Biblically based HIV/AIDS awareness program. Their interest continues. Living Hope Chaplain Nobuntu Matholeni meets with them to continue their quest for the truth. God has opened a door of opportunity for Living Hope to make a difference that could have an enormous impact in Cape Town.

_Please use this update to pray for Living Hope, for the staff there and everyone they encounter. There is an urgent need for registered nurses and other care givers at the Hospice. Pray for more financial help through Mocha Club for this ministry so that more people can be helped and taught Biblical principles that will help them avoid the lifestyles that lead to HIV/AIDS._

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