21 June 2008

Songs for traveling.

image from sigur ros "hvarf"

I was talking to a friend tonight and realized my favorite "looking out the window of the plane" music is (don't mind the naked bums on their album cover! oh my!) Sigur Ros. It's hauntingly beautiful, sad and wonderful. If you have not had a chance to see Heima yet, it's a great film about their band, and about being home. Also, not surprisingly, very moving.

This is also going to be my trip music.

And this too, which reminds me of the music from Amalie. Try "Elephant Gun."

We leave tomorrow for Chicago, then London, then Addis Ababa. I'm procrastinating instead of packing. A bit ago the sun set into an evening of porch sitting, eating good food and talking to good friends. My favorite things. It's like getting to leave town on a full stomach, if that makes sense. Good community is not something to be taken for granted. Thanks friends, for being who you are.

Court let me borrow Through Painted Deserts, by Donald Miller, for trip reading. The subtitle is Light, God and Beauty on the Open Road. That sounds just about perfect. I've also been reading Nouwen's Clowning In Rome--highly recommended by several friends, and so far some interesting thoughts on solitude, celibacy, prayer and contemplation.

A friend shared this article with me about the project we are going to be visiting and working with. It makes me a little bit afraid that, like Tanzania, I might not want to come home. It's not that home isn't wonderful, but you know...

AIDS Ministry Serves As a Means of Reconciliation
May 2008
“We looked around and didn’t see anybody doing anything about it.”

So said Mission to the World (MTW) missionary Andy Warren about caring for HIV/AIDS patients living in the slums of Ethiopia.

“We saw a lot of people talking about the problem, but no one addressing the needs of the poorest of the poor.”

Andy and Bev Warren, who serve as both MTW and Serving in Mission (SIM) missionaries, moved to Addis Ababa 12 years ago and began ministering to HIV/AIDS patients in 2002. Their AIDS Care and Treatment (ACT) project focuses on caring for HIV-positive patients and their families.

“We started small—just going into homes in the slums, making sure people got fed, their rent was paid, household tasks were done,” said Warren. Now ACT is the lead agency for HIV care in the country, employing 75 Ethiopian staff in 14 health centers and hospitals, and counseling some 10,000 patients each year.

“Our care has had so much success that the government has asked us to take over,” said Warren. “There’s no limit on what we’ll do for our patients. We tell them, ‘If there’s a legitimate need you have, we’ll meet it.’”
The Warrens’ work through ACT includes everything from making sure the sick see a doctor to providing watches and pillboxes to remind patients to take their medications to helping provide money for patients’ children to attend school. They also organize the sick into support groups so that they can learn from and help one another.

“Our counselors coach patients with medical information, positive living teaching, and spiritual guidance,” said Warren. “And we train ‘expert patients,’ who are also HIV-positive, to reach out to those who have just been diagnosed.”

Warren sees ACT’s HIV/AIDS ministry as a means of reconciliation. “We tell our staff all the time that the Fall has affected everything, and that we’re here to bring reconciliation through the gospel—reconciliation with God, with others, and with creation, by fighting disease.”

He cites ministries of compassion as the way early Christianity spread. “Everyone else fled the cities when disasters occurred—fires, earthquakes, plagues. But the Christians stayed and cared for people and buried the dead. They became famous for it, and that’s the reason Christianity grew the way it did.”

Warren’s MTW church-planting team has recently added new members, including a doctor, and has future plans to expand their ministry.

“We’re hoping to help those with tuberculosis and terminal illness, and we’d like to try to reduce infant mortality,” he said. “We’re really like to reach the whole community—not just those with AIDS.”

I'll see ya soon.


Blogger the kitchen gnomes said...

I'm glad you added the article about the Warren's that explains what their team is doing. It helps me invision what you might be involved with in the short time you are there. I pray that it is a rich time for everyone on your team.
love you...mams

9:23 AM  
Blogger Elle said...

nice post - have a great trip
we will keep you in our prayers

3:14 PM  

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