Lighting candles in remembrance of all who have lost their lives to AIDS

Lighting candles in remembrance of all who have lost their lives to AIDS

3/12/2013 Johannesburg, South Africa

At the invitation of the Moravian Church in Southern Africa (MCSA) District 7 (Gauteng) the LUCSA HIV & AIDS Desk Coordinator, Venah Mzezewa, gave a motivational speech to the congregants on World AIDS Day, on the occasion of the launch of their HIV and AIDS Fund. The launching of the fund is a necessary move as funding for HIV and AIDS is declining worldwide.  Mrs. Mzezewa gave a brief background of the HIV and AIDS situation in South Africa, highlighting the current estimated prevalence and the total number of people living with HIV.

Mrs. Mzezewa went on to inform the congregants, among then was the recently consecrated Bishop, that the church has a captive audience weekly and also have the power to influence people in general as well as the government in a positive way. They need to take advantage of this situation.

Using the scriptures to describe how the church can respond to HIV and AIDS and the injustices there from, she sighted the following verses from The Bible

  • Matthew 28:18-20. The church has the responsibility to evangelize people and give them topical information.
  • The church has the responsibility to protect God given life (Luke 4:18 and 19) It is in Jesus Christ that the motive for designing a caring response to HIV and AIDS is found. The church recognizes that they are wounded proclaimers of the word.
  • Speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves and helping the hopeless.(Proverbs 31:8-9)
  • God promises a reward for faithfulness (1John3:2) all rewards are eternal. The pain of HIV is nothing compared to the joy of being in Christ and of being surrounded by loving and caring Christians.
  • The joy of giving. Mrs. Mzezewa gave an analogy of a joyful giver who did not worry about how much she had given away as giving made her happy. In the same way we should know that people living with HIV and those affected by AIDS are our responsibility. We should care for them financially. Proverbs 11:24 states that ‘One man gives freely yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty.

The church collected R1075 to kick-start their HIV and AIDS fund. They were grateful for the message and information that they had received. LUCSA gave the church information booklets, T-shirt and caps as IEC (information, education, & communication) materials. An estimated 70 people attended the service.