A few months ago, Word Alive writer Doug Lockhart and photographer Alan Hood took you—via the pages of our Fall 2011 edition—to the trauma-filled African nation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They reported on how trauma healing workshops and materials, created by Wycliffe staff, are bringing hope and healing to many Congolese.
But emotional trauma in that war-torn country has a dreadful colleague—the HIV-AIDS virus. Once again, Wycliffe personnel have created materials—this time, the Kande’s Story booklet—to assist the people there and in a growing number of other nations. And once again, Doug and Alan tell the story.
On their trip, Doug and Alan were privileged to meet several Congolese believers in the city of Bunia who are working hard to combat the spread of HIV-AIDS in their region. Armed with translations the Kande story and related educational seminars, they’re equipping their countrymen to protect themselves from the HIV virus.
However, these brothers and sisters in Christ work in extremely harsh conditions, due largely to a devastating war over two decades that killed millions and crippled an already-ailing infrastructure.
The plight of DRC’s people was clearly seen when Alan and Doug accompanied some of these Congolese Christians to visit a community garden on the outskirts of Bunia.
“On our way home, we made an unscheduled stop at a packed medical clinic that had just opened that morning,” recalls Doug. “Inside, a small crowd had gathered to dedicate it to God and pray for badly-needed supplies and medicine. Community members are battling malaria, intestinal parasites, respiratory problems—and HIV—but the only service the clinic could offer them that morning was to weigh their babies.”
With medicine in short supply, prevention is crucial to conquer HIV-AIDS. The Kande story booklet and seminars are helping DRC’s people protect themselves and their families. But they provide much more than medical facts about the pandemic.
“They’re helping people throughout DRC to know God and apply biblical principles to their lives,” explains Doug. “For those already infected by HIV, the Kande story offers the hope found only in Christ.”
Jesus, the Great Physician, is interested in the physical as well as the spiritual well-being of all humankind.
That is why Wycliffe does what it does—serves minority language groups worldwide by fostering an understanding of God’s Word through Bible translation, while nurturing literacy, education and stronger communities.