Home » Blog

Interview with Margaret Auma of Springs Ministries, Kenya

How do churches respond to their members with HIV/AIDS?
How do they and how SHOULD they are two different things. If someone is rooted in the Lord, they will respond with His love and compassion. If they live in fear, they usually pull back and hide or reject those with HIV/AIDS.  As stigma is reduced acceptance is expressed. Here in the US where it is illegal to fire someone from their job who is HIV+, where it is illegal to discriminate someone for a sickness, where confidentiality is highly promoted, stigma is not at a minimum. Not so yet in much of the rest of the world.

How can churches promote responsible behaviour without being judgmental and moralistic?
Preach what the Bible says! Of course we are judgmental and moralistic, the Bible says TOO judge, but with a righteous (humble) judgement and our morals are based on His Truth- but both need to be based in God’s love and forgiveness. But preach holy living and what God desires of us as His followers and that there are consequences for going against “God’s way”.

What public health measures to reduce HIV/AIDS transmission should churches advocate?
Promote confidentiality, sound AIDS education, condom usage especially for discordant couples, get an HIV test if there has been any kind of possible infection.

How can resources for care and research be fairly shared?  
Each church, especially in areas of high infections, should provide free resources for it’s people. Each church should raise it’s own funds to do this whether in the US or in Africa or in Asia.

This means in each case exploring all available options, weighing the benefits {and difficulties} of each and finally asking,”which of possible courses of action best express christ’s love for all those involved?”  Yes, if every Church started with an AIDS policy and then build it’s resource from there, every Church would become effective in really helping those facing HIV/AIDS in it’s congregation and community.

The Springs Ministries is a voluntary community based organization run on Christian principles. It is registered under ministry of culture and social services. The organization was founded in 1995 as a remedial response to the ravaging effects of HIV/AIDS by a group of concerned Christians. This initiative followed the realization that HIV/AIDS infected and affected widows and orphans were constantly rejected, stigmatized and discriminated against within their homes and even, the entire community hence presenting a great need for a framework of development and support. Springs Ministries encourages income-generating projects. This enables widows and children and even child headed households to become self-reliant and able to provide for their own needs of food, shelter and school fees (for high school orphans). However, the needs are not only economical but also emotional and spiritual.

Leave a Comment