Being Led Of God
Pastor Bob Lewis; The Gathering Place
Our Journey With Those Living With AIDS
For my wife Melanie and I, our journey in caring for others began in the summer of 1975. That’s when we signed up to be a Fresh Air Fund family two summers in a row. Caring for others was changing our entire family’s life. For the next seven years we added Foster Children to our family of six. Then in 1987 we met a young man dying of AIDS who joined our dinner table as well. It was then we realized caring for others wasn’t just a call. God was drawing us to a “Life’s Work”. ….. And so we followed His urging.
How A Ministry To People With HIV/AIDS Began.
We both gave up our full-time jobs and dedicated all we were and all we possessed to reaching out to those with HIV. We never imagined for the next 30 years we would provide Christ-centered ministry to those living and dying from AIDS.
Another Calling From God
In those 30 years, medical advancements and services has changed the reality of HIV disease by increasing life expectancy in Lancaster. “What’s Next” seemed to be the words flashing in our minds. That question was answered quickly by a call from a ministry in Kisumu Kenya, that was caring for orphaned or single parent children. Most of the children’s lives are directly impacted by AIDS. They were asking us if we could bring our compassionate 30 years of experience and knowledge to Kisumu. Yes, we felt it was the right thing to do and so again we are following His urging.
Headlined With The Gospel Message
On September 1, 2017 we dedicated all of our Time, Talent and Treasure to the people of Kenya. We immediately began to adapt our model to their culture. In the spring of 2017 we again traveled to Kisumu and began training Medical technicians and community health care workers.
We trained an entire staff of a local medical clinic, eight in all as well as many community health care workers. Our goal was headlined with the Good News of Christ. We acknowledged that Hebrews 9:27 “It is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgement” we all are desperately in need of His salvation message. I encouraged each and every one to be asking if any amongst them wanted prayer.
HIV Specific Medical Training
Medically our hope was to help them all recognize specific HIV related infections and what medications were most commonly used to treat those infections. We laid out procedures to follow in proper tracking, follow-up and record keeping.
We described our manner of home care and the proper way to incorporate a patient-centered bedside manner. While there I also took part in a few HIV support groups. One group was amongst the scattered outlying villages and one was in the Nyalenda slums of 850,000 + people.
Our Journey Crosses Paths With The Reality Of AIDS
Together the Community Health care workers and I went on a class field trip. We visited many who were afflicted with AIDS and in hopeless desperation. It was a greater eye opener for me than them. They already lived within Nyalenda slums. For me it had no resemblance of Lancaster PA. at all. We walked muddied path after muddied path, stepping over and around sewage and piles of garbage. Passing wood and tin shacks as far as I could see until we reached the home of another child of God dying with AIDS. The most asked reason for help was the desperate cry hoping for someone to care for their children when they die.
Our Blog Led Of God will journal our lives and the lives of others as we continue……..
Our Journey With Those Living With AIDS globally.
A new The Gathering Place Being Led Of God will be published the first and third Friday every month. Hope you will enjoy following our Journey into Kenya.