A Little Red Book
A Little Red Book

A “little red book” for people working with churches on their response to HIV and AIDS? Yes, that’s right! UMN’s publication HIV and your community has really helped pastors and church leaders engage their churches with the issues, and formulate a practical response. Translated into Nepal from a Tearfund (UK) original, the booklet makes this process available even to small churches in remote areas.

Recently, 20 people who have been using the booklet met in Kathmandu to share their experiences. Steve Collins, Tearfund Nepal, opened the gathering, saying: “Today our meeting is all about us, together, being a community – a community of learning made up of people involved in helping churches to engage with society on HIV issues, helping churches demonstrate more of the Kingdom of God in their interaction with society.”

It was great to hear stories of how God’s people in Nepal are taking seriously their call to help the least and the poorest. Churches are providing counseling and home-based care, giving nutrition advice, training people in income generation skills, providing scholarships and stationery for school children, helping people access the treatment they need. But above all, they are saying to people devastated by disease and discrimination, “We care about you, because our God cares. You are important to Him, and you are important to us.”

In summing up the impact of the “little red book” and of the sharing meeting, Joel Githinji, UMN’s HIV and AIDS Advisor, said: “The book depicts different stages of engaging the churches and communities in catching the vision and moving towards working together. It has been helpful to Christian leaders and facilitators in building the capacity of church and community to tackle social issues such as HIV. The Church is becoming a beacon of hope and now members are listening, moved with compassion towards people living with HIV.”

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