What is your name and what was your role on the trip?
Marlena Putman, East Coast/MD, pharmacy
Have you been to Africa before?
Yes, in 2008
What was the most difficult part of the journey?
Seeing the “glue children” in El Dorett, watching them fight and beat each other up over food, knowing they are homeless, most probably HIV+, with no one to care for them. Leaving our “daughter” behind again. Personal growth.
What was the most fulfilling part of the journey?
The absolute delight, joy, thanksgiving, love of and acceptance by the people for our simple offerings and our presence and being able to provide these gifts. Spending time with our “daughter”, Night. Seeing lions up close. Personal growth.
Were there any experiences that happened you didn’t expect?
Meeting Daniels’ mother. God absolutely blinded our eyes/mind to the fact that this little boy had died from AIDS earlier in the year. Holding her as she cried, ministering to her in prayer, encouraging her about the Father and her son, to discover my prayer and encouragement was exactly what she was unable to grasp according to Martha. It was a divine appointment established by the Father at the foundation of the earth.
What would you say to someone who may be considering going next year to HIV Africa2011?
Go. It will change your life, your perspective, break your heart for God’s children, sand your edges, and increase your faith in a Father who provides, cares, loves — them and you.