December 1 is World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day.

For my part, I'd like to thank God for the work that has been done by governments, agencies, and, indeed, churches to help rid this disease from the world. I know that churches, have been part of the problem as well. We have, in the Christian church, spread misinformation. We have misunderstood ways that HIV is spread. We have failed to address problems because so much of it seemed to be so far away, particularly in Africa. But progress has been made. And churches, many of them, have done much to help.

I am particularly thankful for the work of my denomination, The United Methodist Church.  I have never been made to feel like this is a "taboo" topic.  You can see some of what our denomination is doing through the United Methodist Committee on Relief website.

You can also read poems and letters and accounts by those who are working in the field, helping fight the spread of this disease and many other social ills.  The following is a poem written by Madira Bwaza of Uganda.  Madira is a "Global Justice Volunteer."


Who am I?
I'm the god and king of the earth.
People fear me though they don't see me physically
And talk about me in every gathering
I break apart families and cause injustices in communities
Leaving orphans and other vulnerable people
Because I am the boss.

I make the fat become slim
I fear no person, even rich, poor, strong, weak
Educated, uneducated, and people of high integrity obey me
Regardless of their position and religion
Even the devil fears me too because my weapon is strong.

I make people suffer in all sorts of lives.
I am tough but nobody can see me
and I make you more beautiful and handsome to spread me.
I feed on blood that fights against other diseases in the body.

Hahaaa! I only obey God.
If you keep far from me, I will keep a distance
But if you come in contact with me, I will deal with you and make you die.

Take care.
AIDS is real.

Let us keep praying that work continues for Madira and others who are the proverbial "boots on the ground."  Let us keep praying that fear is overcome by hope and that lives could be saved.