Faith

This morning, we have a story to share with you from two of our Spiritual and Health Counselors, Frederick and Rose, from their recent class at Githurai Center. This class of 82 clients was the first group to go through the program at Githurai, and the whole team is so proud of this incredible group of clients. Below is a story of one of the clients whose story deeply impacted Rose and Frederick. 

Faith realized she was HIV positive while she was sitting in a courtroom. Her husband was on trial for sexually abusing their daughter, and as he confessed his guilt, he told the judge that he was HIV positive, and had abused the young girl because he had believed that it would cure him of his disease.

That day, Faith’s life changed forever. As her husband was sentenced to prison and the realization of her and her daughter’s status sank in, Faith lost hope. Opportunistic infection related to her HIV status combined with depression put her in the hospital for several weeks, but when she returned home, she sought counsel at her local church.

Faith joined the first class of the CARE for AIDS program at her church in Githurai, and after nine months of spiritual counsel, community with her classmates, and economic empowerment/ education, Faith and her daughter are thriving. She can financially support her family, and is beginning to put the tragedy of her past and her husband’s actions behind her.

 

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Rose and Frederick are in the process of recruiting the next class of clients for the second phase of their center in Githurai. They have already identified 70 clients, and are expecting to start counseling this group in September. 

 

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7 Questions to Ask Great Leaders

Last year, a friend of CARE for AIDS, Sarah Kamienski, was training our counselors in Kenya, and she told them that in order to be a great counselor they must be both curious and humble. I’ve found that the leaders I most respect embody this same principle. They are curious enough to ask questions that go beneath the surface, and they are humble enough to listen intently to and learn from the response.

Whether they are trying to solve a problem or just seize an opportunity to learn from another leader, these leaders always seem to have the right question(s) for the occasion. Therefore, a few years ago, I began collecting great questions to add to my leadership arsenal. Last year, someone shared with me an article by John Maxwell in which he shares the seven questions that he tries to ask when he has the chance to sit down and learn from another leader. I want to share these with you below because these questions have allowed me to glean insights from leaders of all ages and experiences.

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1. What is the greatest lesson you have ever learned? Andy Andrews wrote in his book The Noticer, “Experience is not the best teacher. Other people’s experience is the best teacher.” We can gain years worth of wisdom by asking others this simple question.

2. What are you learning now? This question unlocks what that person is most passionate about today and may reveal challenges that they are currently facing. It may open up a door for you to serve them by sharing a connection or resource.

3. How has failure shaped your life? This question will tell you a lot about a person’s attitude by their willingness to admit and learn from failures. And, once again, you get the benefit of learning from others mistakes.

4. Who do know that I should know? This may sound very transactional, but I ask it a slightly different way. I ask, “Who do you know that would want to learn about what CARE for AIDS is doing in Kenya?” Before asking this question, the person is not proactively thinking of introductions to make, and this activates their thinking. This question has led to countless new relationships.

5. What have you read that I should read? There are just too many books to read them all, and I hate wasting my time on a bad book. I mitigate that risk by only reading those that have been recommended to me. Unfortunately, that list is already too long to ever finish!

6. What have you done that I should do? I love expanding my world with new experiences. Whether it is a trip, a restaurant, or a local activity, I always want to try new things that will add adventure and awareness to my life.

7. How can I add value to you? This is by far the most important question because it reveals your true objective, to add value to them, not extract it.

These are just a sampling of great questions to ask leaders in your life. What are some of your favorite questions to ask of leaders you meet?

 

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Love is the Mother of Hope

Benedict Family

“HE IS A GOOD FATHER.”

Sally is the first to tell you that her husband is a family man. Benedict is a loving husband and father, and he takes pride in providing for his family, but he wasn’t always that way.

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Benedict and Sally are both HIV+

The Okoths live in the Western region of Kenya in slum outside of Kisumu. Benedict discovered his HIV status in 2008, and after his diagnosis he began to drink to numb the social agony of stigma and his fear of imminent death. His drinking generally digressed into violence toward Sally and their four young children. Benedict’s depression and alcohol abuse eventually cost him his job, and their small home in the slums did not afford any escape for Sally.

A counselor from the local CARE for AIDS center eventually visited their home while recruiting clients for the program, and Benedict’s interest was piqued. Benedict joined the program, and after nine months with counselors and 70 other HIV+ clients, he had ended his drinking binges, gotten a steady job, and was providing for his family. Most importantly, had transformed into a tender and loving husband and father.

“BEFORE HE ENTERED THE PROGRAM, LIFE WAS VERY HARD FOR ME.”

Sally and children

The CARE for AIDS program impacted Benedict so profoundly, Sally enrolled in the next class. The family is now thriving, despite both Benedict and Sally’s HIV status, and they have been set free from the fear of death. Sally remembers life before the program and is amazed at the change in her husband, in her home, and in her life.

“My life before CARE for AIDS was that of a drunkard- sleeping the day away” Benedict reflects. But now, everything has changed.

“We know now that there is hope and that there is still a long life to live.”

Benedict and Sally know that a life with HIV/AIDS does not mean the end. Their love and hope overflows into their family and their community. For the Okoth family, the future is now hope-full.

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