Lives light up through windows like you and me
By Chris Moss | Zimbabwe in Southern Africa
Photos for this story courtesy of Windows of Hope.
Faced with the huge challenges HIV and AIDS present us with around the world, we can easily find ourselves overwhelmed. What can we do about it? Is it really possible that we could change the lives of others and bring hope to discouraged people?
Windows of Hope – SIM’s partner ministry in the mountain city of Mutare, Zimbabwe – has been addressing issues of HIV for over a decade now. Over that time, their work has been tremendously successful, but it depends almost entirely on donations and the help of volunteers to operate. Thanks to that generosity, they have seen God do amazing things in the lives of the people they serve.
Farai* (55), who was diagnosed HIV positive in 2010, has been a member of Windows of Hope’s ‘Kubatana’ support group since 2014 when it was formed. Since joining, he has been able to come to terms with his condition and has been adhering to a prescribed course of medication and recommended diet. As a result, his viral load is now undetectable.
Having lost his first wife to AIDS in 2011, Farai decided to remarry in 2018, to a wife who is HIV negative. When he disclosed his status she accepted it, knowing the medication he was committed to taking would protect her from becoming infected too. She regularly accompanies Farai to support group meetings, and together they have a one-year-old baby girl who is HIV negative.
Now taking a lead in the support group and working in the project’s community garden, Farai would love to generate funds to start a small business to help look after his growing family. He is seeing God’s hand in his life and always thanks Windows of Hope for the counselling services and other assistance he is benefitting from.
Tariro* (18) was born HIV positive. Both his parents died many years ago. Since then, he has lived with his only sister in a one room apartment given to them by a relative, but with no support for food or any other needs.
When he defaulted on taking his HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication, Tariro was referred to Windows of Hope by the provincial hospital social worker. There, he was able to get counselling and regular follow-up visits to help him keep up with his ART, as well as food assistance and vital tablets which he could not get at the hospital. He is now strong and is adhering to treatment.
Seeing the smile on Tariro’s face each time they visit is one of the things that keeps the Windows of Hope team going. But, more than that, in order to keep on changing lives like his and Farai’s, they know they need people like you and me to pray, give and volunteer.
In a Facebook post, they write: “Volunteers are a backbone of many organizations in the world. Our volunteers have, for the past 16 years, been offering their voluntary services and support to the hurting and suffering people within the communities which we operate in. As Windows of Hope, Zimbabwe, we feel valued by such gestures and commitment these volunteers have offered to the organisation.”
As we reflect on the impact of HIV in our world, and the wonderful solutions God is providing through SIM’s Hope for Life and partner ministries like Windows of Hope, we can be encouraged that we, too, have a role in making the difference.
Our prayers make a difference.
Our gifts make a difference.
Our availability to serve others makes a difference.
We, just like our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, are windows through which the light and hope of Christ can shine.
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For more information about Windows of Hope, click here.
To give to this or any other Hope for Life project, please click here.
• for Farai* and Tariro* as they continue to benefit from the programmes offered by Windows of Hope.
• that all who shine the hope of Christ through HIV ministries would also know his blessing, strength and joy.
• that God might show you how you could get involved through, prayer, encouragement, giving or volunteering.
*Names changed for privacy.