Lyn spends A Week Between Heaven and Hell. 2/09
CABSA at Operation Mobilisation leaders’ meeting in Brazil
In the course of 11 days in February this year Lyn van Rooyen experienced two worlds, poles apart.
The OM HIV ministry is a valued CABSA partner, whose role is to transform lives and communities by mobilising and equipping people to impact the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. In Lyn’s capacity as board member of the ministry, she attended the Operation Mobilisation (OM) leaders’ meeting about 100 km from Sao Paulo in Brazil. Afterwards she spent four days in Sao Paulo itself, as guest of CENA Ministries.
The conference, in lush surroundings, was a stimulating and spiritually rewarding experience, Lyn says.
OM is an international missionary organisation which ministers from its ships and in 110 countries. So stimulating the meeting was indeed, with specialists from all over the world exchanging ideas. And then the spirituality: Lyn says prayer ran like a golden thread through the proceedings.
“OM’ers really pray for each other. For them prayer is as much part of their daily lives as breathing,” she says.
And then there was Bruno – Bruno Borges from OM Brazil, one of the most inspiring and energetic organisers of the meeting. But when the HIV report was delivered, he surprised everyone by revealing that he was HIV positive. He is a living example of how a hopeless life can change. (Bruno, Lyn and Rose in the photo
After the meeting Lyn left for Sao Paulo, where CENA Ministries showed her and seven other delegates from various countries a world as close to hell as you can get.
With good reason, a decayed area of the city is called “Rubbish Land”. Here people are literally dumped to rot. Prostitution, drugs, corruption and street crime are rife – to an extent even us South Africans, who deal with the same problems, can’t imagine. Lyn saw a child of eight smoking a crack pipe, right next to a policeman. There is no hope, no morals, no humanity in this human rubbish heap.
No hope? Not entirely. The people of CENA Ministries told many stories of how their lives did turn around. And most often the turning point was human contact – a cup of water, a touch, a friendly word.
There is life after the rubbish heap. Just ask Bruno.