Face to face with HIV: Meet those who know

From PurposeDriven.com

Each of these individuals comes face to face with HIV on a daily basis. Listen to their hearts as they share openly what it’s like living with HIV or serving those who have HIV and be challenged to open your heart and mind to God’s plan for your ministry in the HIV/AIDS community.

‘It’s like living with the Sword of Damocles over your head’

Jerry and Sue Thacker

“What’s it like to live with HIV? It’s like living with the Sword of Damocles over your head. If you remember the story, Damocles’ sword was attached by a hair to the ceiling, and he was made to stand under it. If that hair broke, the sword would go right down through his head. That’s the way you feel living with HIV. Everything is filtered through that knowledge. When you get a cold, you wonder if it’s going to develop into pneumonia and you’re going to die.

“… The one thing that we have to remember about living with HIV is very simply this: It’s God who determines the day of our birth and the day of our death and all the days in between. Our job is to trust him, and glorify him, and serve others.”
— Jerry Thacker

‘My family: AIDS times three’ – Learn more about Jerry and Sue Thacker >>

‘It’s important for you to know there’s a lot of fear’

“And I think it’s important for you to know that there’s a lot of fear. I’m afraid; I’m afraid my meds will fail. I’m not afraid of dying; I’m afraid of being sick, and I think that’s true with most of us. When I die, I’ll go home to heaven, and that will be great. But what about in the meantime? And how long will it take? I’m very healthy now, thanks to God, but physically taking the pills every day – the cost, … the nausea, and I have neuropathy now because of the medication. That’s nerve ending damage in your feet, and it’s very painful. I take medication every three hours so I can walk.” — Kathi Winter

Learn from Kathi how to begin an HIV/AIDS support group >> | Hear Kathi’s heart-felt prayer for those with HIV >>

‘Don’t be afraid to talk to me’

HIV/AIDS Caring Community Reader

“I would hope you will not be afraid to talk with me or ask how I am doing or how God is using me; because he is, and the life I have now, as strange as it seems, I would not trade for the world. So don’t feel as though you have to tiptoe around me or hesitate to ask me to be involved or just hang out and talk.” – A reader shared this with us. Because of concerns for his family, he asked that his identity not be revealed.

Read this reader’s letter to pastors >> | Share your story >>

‘God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve’

John Forbes

“It wasn’t until 2001 when I developed AIDS that the reality of my time on this planet was coming to an end. I knew I was going to die and have to stand in front of the One who spoke this world into existence. I was fearful of meeting Jesus. I had fallen from a place of ministry and service in the Body of Christ. I had been involved in sexual immorality. I knew I had a call on my life, and I certainly had not fulfilled it.

“In a moment of revelation, I saw the Lord on his throne and me approaching him. I just began to weep. I suddenly became aware of God’s love for me at that moment. Not with head knowledge but with an incredible sense of his presence. It overwhelmed me. I could not stop crying. God really is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love – he doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. After all I had done, I was still met with his mercy.” — John Forbes

Read John’s story >> | Hear his passionate prayer for the Church >>

‘Could we shift the way we do church?’

“Is it possible that we can be a safe place for individuals to just talk about the worst things that live in them? The intimate conversations that keep all of us from each other? Is it possible that people can get that they are worth fighting for in the midst of where they’re at? Is it possible that we could shift the way we do church – where we are all things to all people? [Where we say,] ‘I care enough about you. You are worth fighting for. Please teach me who you are. I want to know who you are.'” Becky Kuhn, a physician who works with HIV positive individuals

Download “Building a Bridge to Someone with HIV: Friendships that Heal,” Dr. Kuhn’s presentation at the 2005 Disturbing Voices HIV/AIDS Conference >> 

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