I [Missy Zahn, Mocha Club Artist Relationship Director] was on our recent Mocha Club trip team that visited Gulu, Uganda. Our team had the opportunity to meet the beautiful Acholi people and visit several Mocha Club supported projects through our partners Action International. One of those projects was “Women of Hope” – a group of women with HIV/AIDS that meets regularly to encourage one another.
In the photo above, you’ll see our MC Sponsor Amy Courts with Grace, one of the “Women of Hope” who was kind enough to share her story with us. Her story goes like this…
Grace couldn’t have children (she was barren), so her husband left her and decided to have sex with multiple women so they could have his babies. He then came back to Grace and gave her AIDS. When she found out she was infected, Grace left her husband. Shortly after, her brother passed away, and Grace was able to take his children into her home to take care of them. It was amazing to hear Grace’s story and see that even though barren and infected with AIDS, she now has a unique and special purpose – as Grace calls herself, the “mama to many.”
There are about 300 “Women of Hope” who meet regularly. These women all live in the community of Gulu and walk to the meetings, which are in a hut at the Action International offices in Gulu. During their meetings, they share about their lives, read Scriptures from the Bible, and pray for each other.
Several of the women told us they were planning to kill themselves because of their HIV+ status and the hopelessness of their lives. Then, people told them about “Women of Hope,” and now they want to give the rest of the time they have in their lives to encourage one another and teach other kids how to be faithful in their marriage so they’re not spreading the disease.
Amy Courts had the opportunity to play some of her songs for the women, and it was such a special time.