Yesterday was a very good day for me. I went to visit the pastor of Central Baptist Church to chart the way forward for CFA in their church. On reaching his house, I found a former client in his house. Romanos was in the 2010 group of graduates, and you can read about his story here.
Romanos did not recall who I am, and I left it at that. He started telling me the story of how his life was changed from his days on the street as a drug peddler. He gave me the story of how he got saved and burnt all the marijuana he was selling and smoking at the same time. He shared with me how his life has turned around since that day. Just this week alone, he mentioned to me 3 different missions he was in. One of them is ministering to the street children – children in a place where he also came from.
The best part was that I was not featuring anywhere in his redemption story. Nothing of CARE for AIDS either, not even the regional coordinator Geofrey Otieno, who was constantly involved in this process. I was happy that the story was centered around three main people: 1. Jesus, 2. the CFA center workers, and 3. the church.
Years later, Romanos could only remember that he was extremely lost in sin and very sick with HIV before coming to the center. He told me he was actually waiting to die, but was in a lot of pain because of his children and how they would suffer after his demise. According to him, all this changed when Central Baptist Church came to visit through Elizabeth and Lazarus (the center workers). Later, the pastor and some other leaders in the church joined the force. He told me that with his salvation and burning of all the marijuana, the church then put him in a program where they took good care of his HIV situation. He told me that by the time he was graduating from the program, he was fully equipped to face the world with a change of heart and a helper who is Jesus Christ.
I am particularly happy that he has devoted his full life to serve this Jesus who was able to change his life from death to life. I was also moved by the fact that the local church is now taking the glory and not CFA. And that is why Romanos is a strong member of this church!
Praise God for encouraging stories like this that remind us how our partnerships with the local church are working. We are thankful that the glory in stories like these is going to Christ and to the Church, not to an NGO or people from the West! Please continue to pray for our 2000 graduated clients and their lives as they continue to grow beyond their time with CARE for AIDS…