The following is an update from Living Hope Community Centre near Cape Town, South Africa, which is ministering to those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Living Hope Expands Ministry
Living Hope has expanded their pre- and post-HIV Counseling to include a greater part of Cape Town. Nolizwe Malashe is the counselor in charge of anti-retroviral treatment counseling at the False Bay Hospital in Fish Hoek. [False Bay Hospital is mentioned in the Mocha Club video on the main page of our site.]
Nolizwe works with people whose CD4 cell count is below 200 to help prepare them for the Anti-retroviral medication they will need to take. “Most know their status when it is too late and they get sick,” she says, “But we encourage them in the love of God.”
Support Group Leader Understands
When Bongiwe Mlongeni speaks to the members of the support group she leads about HIV/AIDS and the challenges they face, she does so from personal experience. She knows what it is to be cared for by Living Hope. Her world was shaken when she tested positive for HIV/AIDS and became very ill while pregnant with her youngest child, Soxola. Already the mother of three children, the youngest of who was 8 months, she became quite ill. “I was so sick, and the Home-Based Care People helped me in my home.” Once she got better, she was determined to help others and now leads a support group. “I came in as a client, was helped, and now I want to give back,” she said. As a result of her support group experience, she has also received Jesus Christ into her life.
Michael W. Smith visits Living Hope
Highly acclaimed Christian recording artist, Michael W. Smith, visited Living Hope recently to visit with the patients and tour the Health Care Centre. John Thomas, the Board Chairman, escorted Michael and his band through the Health Care Centre and into each ward so that he would be able to learn more about the people and their stories. Kumie, a past patient of the unit, shared her personal testimony with Michael and handed over one of her very own creations: a handmade bag that she had learned to make after leaving the Health Care Centre, starting her life over again in a new home with new hope.
While Michael toured the facility, he stopped in the foyer and pulled out his guitar and played “Draw Me Close To You” for all the Living Hope staff and patients. His violinist accompanied him as everyone sang along lifting their voices with one of the most talented worship leaders in the world. It was a beautiful experience where all staff, patients and guests came together as one voice praising the Lord. After Michael’s performance, some of the staff led a few songs in Xhosa as the guests enjoyed hearing the native songs of South Africa.
Living Hope Praised At the World AIDS Day Celebration
At the World AIDS Day celebration on Friday, November 30th, Living Hope was
praised for the important role it plays in the care of people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Dr Nosi Kalawe from False Bay Hospital says Living Hope is their first “step-down” facility to house HIV/AIDS patients who cannot be kept at the hospital. “Living Hope is there for us when we need them,” she said. She explained that from the moment someone learns they are HIV positive it becomes a family matter, especially since it is often the case that person is the breadwinner. The ill person needs treatment or a place to recuperate while the children need help as well. She praised Living Hope counselors who help so much in this area.
Children’s Club Christmas Party 2007
Children from the four different Living Hope branches enjoying crafts and water slides at their Christmas party on Wednesday, December 5th in Ocean View!