Natli Jimenez, an OMer who works with homeless people in Santiago, Chile, shares her experience of the AIDSLink training in South Africa.
About a year ago, my husband Roel and I heard about the opportunity to participate in a training organised by OM’s partner organisation, AIDSLink International. This training is about HIV and AIDS, seen from a Christian perspective. Since we already have come to know a lot of people with HIV in our work on the streets, we thought it would be a great opportunity to acquire some more tools and to help others in a more practical way.
Since the training is held outside of Chile and has its accommodation costs, it was a really big challenge to finalise our plans. Still, God has been faithful, and little by little, He provided in the right moments, showing that He wanted us to be part of it.
A year later, we travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa. With others from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin and North America – people from different cultures and backgrounds – we did not only learn about HIV and AIDS but also about how to work with affected persons, how to let go of our own prejudices and stigmas and how to educate our community in order to see less lives being affected by this virus.
In the end, this training has been more for us than those we serve. It has been a tool in the hands of God to transform us and make us grow. We have obtained a lot of knowledge, but we have also seen how our own hearts have been confronted with the reality and our own thoughts.
We thank God for this opportunity and to those who have made it possible. We already look forward to take this material to other places!
Pray for AIDSLink International as they continue to train people on HIV and AIDS education, as well as reach out to those affected by HIV and AIDS.