La Verna TTF 28 February to 6 March 2011

The journey began many months before February 27th 2011. The applicants were in place, training place check and materials in place. Then murphy’s law played her maiden role of making all forms of transport disrupted ( the train was late, the bus connections, the pick up points confused, the flights were cancelled and others delayed). But the team maintained their cool in the knowledge that there is a higher law that works for and in us! This law states that all things work for good for those who love God and are called to His design and

Participants arrived from all over South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe! LAVERNA was the destination, where a very friendly Brother Ashley and his team hosted us. With all preparations in place, after a short snooze, the training team had their initial meeting and pooled resources in setting up the training room. Day 1 flew like a breeze with many fresh new faces, acquaintances and indeed lessons. Day 2 started with devotion and the knowledge of God’s presence amongst us. And this remained so for the rest of the training.

The personal sharing, the healing experienced, the differing opinions and the mutual respect for each other’s position was evidenced throughout the week.  The participants were unique, each one bringing a special flavor to the training.

There were new additions to the manual which we tried out in La Verna, it was a roller coaster ride but what new insights!  A whole new chapter, “Towards HIV competent faith communities” was introduced during this training and we are excited about making progress with this new chapter.

The God Hour was also phenomenal, with beautiful inspirations from the Lord! God spoke so beautifully through nature, it was awesome. .

Where cracks appeared, there was a super natural filling from our greatest source, God. In many instances the team only realised the cracks and the solutions long after the session. In closing, all were challenged from the words of the devotion to make a choice as to whether in life they are out to make a living or to make lives. Our call to each and every one is to pause and consider that God calls each one of us to play an active role in the lives of persons living with HIV and the affected ones without being reduced to making a living. May we begin and continue the journey of being His channel of HOPE!

A big thank you to the team, participants and also to Brother Ashley and the rest of the staff. The food was especially nice and reminded many of us of home, especially the PAP!

By Kiarie Mwenda and Maureen Kabey 

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