Our Ministry in the Community.

We’re known for a very active program that serves the community-education, health and others programs. In his opening address to participants. But it has to be more than this; Individually, “we need to remind ourselves that we have to make a positive contribution to society,”
“While we are a spiritual community, we cannot afford to become preoccupied with the world to come, and lose interest in the world where we are currently placed,” As a we added, On the cross Jesus confirmed the value He places on humanity. We must make sure our mission is large enough to embrace Christ’s care for suffering humanity. We are humanity; we are part of the world. This is where we live, this is where are work. God has placed us here for a purpose. We are expected by God to be instruments in His hands to reach into the community.
This brand-new venture affirmed the vital importance of community involvement by ministry and Sima community Based Organization. “The recent world survey showed that among all church activities, community involvement is the lowest rated-less than 30 percent to members being involved,” We need a paradigm shift-service is service, and the focus should be on the people. After all, the church is part of the community, and we should help people feel that our presence in the community makes a difference to their welfare.

Through our ministry and Sima Community Based Organization this is our plan we normally do
Each Evangelistic Church a support center for the community.
This goal will be achieved through the organization of Support Groups in our churches.

“Go… heal the sick, raise the spiritually dead, and cleanse the lepers and those who have HIV/AIDS, drive out the demons of fear, ignorance, and wrong attitudes. Freely you received, freely give…” (Matt.10:8).

HIVE/AIDS – CURCH HASED SUPPORT GROUPS

ORGANIZATION OF SUPPORT GROUPS:

• Definition of a SUPPORT GROUP:
• Is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others in the community (inside and outside the church)
• SUPPORT GROUPS AND MINISTRY
• Care teams: by their non-judgmental, compassionate presence they represent a Loving God to persons who often feel they are somehow being “punished by God”
• Through their caring attitudes they encourage empowerment, acceptance, hope, care team members form relationships and do things friends do.
• Whether you’re battling HIV/AIDS, or if you are the family member or friend of someone who is hurting, many of the issues and questions are the same.
• Why is this happening to me?
• How can I possible endure?
• Where’s God in all of this?
• How can I cope with this situation?

People need information, encouragement and hope. That’s why we need to create Support Groups. To provide a safe place where people can come when they need answers, validation, and most important, hope.

We pray that these support groups will become lighthouses of healing and hope.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (matt 11:28).

SOCIAL SUPPORT IN THE THEREPHY OF HIV/AIDS;
We want to emphasize the important of social support as a very effective component in the process of recovery and improvement for an individual suffering from HIV/AIDS, STIS and other diseases.
It has been demonstrated that there is a strong correction between recovery from severe diseases and social support.
Mind and body are part of one information system. Mind and body are connected and they communicate. The limbic-hypothalamic system is the major anatomical connecting link between mind and body.

WILL-POWER
One hundred and thirty four years ago, Mrs. Ellen G. White in the periodical the Health Reformer of January 1, 1871: “Men in whom… will- power is great, resist disease, and combat it when attached. To array a man’s mind against his sickness, is the supreme art of medicine. Inspire in man courage and purpose, and the mind-power will cast out disease.”
Later, in 1905 Ellen G. White published the book The Ministry of Healing, and wrote about “the influence of the mind upon the body, and of the body upon the mind, and the laws by which they are governed.”
HIV/AIDS is not only a progressively weakening disease, but it is also a dehumanizing one. People with AIDS often lose their jobs, families and friends.
The individual who is HIV positive, usually experiences stigma, rejection, isolation, segregation, employment denial or termination, and a very high level of stress.
While stress is known to worsen many medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, recent research has also shown that stressful life events can hasten the progression to AIDS in HIV positive patients.

A support group is a key component in the network of social support providers for an individual with HIV and/ or suffering from an advanced AIDS syndrome.

The Church Based Support Groups (CBSGs) are organized with lay members including people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). It is preferred that the members of the support groups have some knowledge and / or experience in health issues. There are also welcomed people with teaching experience, counseling and a leading type of personality.

The CBSGs help church members better understand the HIV infection and its consequences as well as the dynamics of this epidemic.
Empowering the church membership with adequate knowledge and skills on prevention and impact mitigation allows proceeding with following phase of interventions, which is at the community level.
This program aims to identify members from the church and surrounding communities with HIV/AIDS, and help them overcome their feelings and needs through constructive lifestyle patterns and behaviors.

The church based support groups members become “Lifestyle Care Givers” and “Social Support Providers”.
Through the support groups, skills are provided to laypersons, enabling them to become effective change agents in assisting people, one-on-one, to cope with their situation.
Besides the church based support groups, other components of the network for social support are:
1. Relatives,
2. Friends,
3. Workmates or classmates, and
4. Church members,
Now, we will consider the recommendations and practices that the support group members will use to help the people with HIV and AIDS. This is about Lifestyle and the Evangelistic Health Message in use for more than a century.
This is good for the poor and for the rich, for men and women, for young and adults.
Most of the people infected with HIV in underdeveloped counties do not have access to ARV treatments especially in rural areas. Lifestyle is one of the most powerful resources we have to help people who are sick, not only with HIV.
What we are going to talk about is easy to use and inexpensive, and because of these two reasons is applicable in underdeveloped countries as well as everywhere, and proven to be very effective.

LIFESTYLE AND THE USE OF NATURE REMEDIES TO IMPROVE HEALTH
Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies.
Every person should have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge.
Although I might feel indisposed, I should not expect to recover while lying in bed. I should bring Will-power to my aid, and should leave my bed, and engage in Active, physical exercise. I should strictly observe regular habits of rising early. I should eat sparingly, thus relieving my system of unnecessary burden, and should encourage cheerfulness, and give myself the benefits of proper exercise in the open air. I should bathe frequently, and drink freely of pure, soft water. If this course should be followed perseveringly, resisting the inclination to do otherwise, it would work wonders in the recovery of health.
“Physical exercise is a precious blessing for both mental and physical ailments… The circulation of the blood would be equalized, and the entire system invigorated to overcome bad conditions.
“The use of natural remedies requires an amount of care and effort that many are not willing to give. Nature’s process of healing and up building is gradual, and to the impatient it seems slow.
Those who preserve in obedience to the Laws of nature (her laws) will reap the reward in health of body and health of mind.


STEPS FOR PREPARATION OF COMMUNITY WORK.

The first step in the creation of support groups at the church level is to present the current situation of HIV/AIDS in Africa, the country, the community (if possible), and the also the situation within the church. Then, help understand the serious impact of this epidemic on society and on the church membership; without forgetting how it affects the youth.
Emphasize Jesus’ method and approach to the sick as a model for action. Allow interaction from church members. A good level of understanding of the problem is required to motivated participation. A supporting, caring loving and compassionate environment is necessary of People living with HIV and AIDS to disclose their status and join the groups.
The group should be made of 5 to 7 people (the advice is not than 7 individuals per group). If necessary, more groups can be organized. Meetings at the church should be held at least once a week. A request for a place to meet and a place to store goods should be presented at the local church board.
The church becomes “A Support Center for the Community” through the support group and its activities. The church opens its doors to the community on a regular basis for advice and support.
Steps for preparation of community work:
1. Assessment of own capacity; human & material resources
2. Assessment of the community
3. Identifying referral institutions (hospitals, VCTs, Counseling, etc)
4. Mapping and zoning
5. Appointing of groups of action, establishing strategies
6. Going into action & Follow-up
7. Public relations promotion, church visibility, funding, etc.


1. ASSESSMENT OF OWN CAPACITY.
List the human resources available in the group:
With understanding of the STIs, STD and HIV/AIDS problem……………………….
With counseling experience…………………………………………………………...
With visiting experience………………………………………………………………..
With bible studies experience………………………………………………………….
Other…………………………………………………………………………………
List material resources:
Place for meetings (preferable in the church)
Transportation………………………………………………………………………
Depot for materials (food, cloth, covers, bibles, printing material etc.)
Other……………………………………………………………………………..
2. ASSESSMENT OF THE COMMUNITY
Name of the community to be reached………………………………………….
Located in……………………………………………………………………..
Extension/limits………………………………………………………………
Characteristics………………………………………………………………….
Type of population (age, gender, other)……………………………………….
Individuals with HIV/AIDS?…………………………………………………

3. IDENTIFYING REFERRAL INSTITUTIONS.
(Hospitals, VCTs, Counseling, etc)
List the institutions of interest located in the community.
4. MAPPING & ZONING/
Preparation of a simple map of the community, where will be indicated the medical institutions, schools, VCTs, public offices, and other points on interest.

Subdivide the map in zones for an easier outreach by groups.
5. APPOINTING ACTION GROUPS & ESTABLISHING STRATEGIES.
Select the groups of people according to their choice to participate in the group’s activities and according to their gifts (with different experiences or choices to minister see point 1)
Establish date, time and strategy for interventions (for example the time when the group will go to the hospital or homes for visiting. Duration, number of people going, material to carried etc)

The groups in the same district should have a quarterly meeting to evaluate the results of the work done and plan strategies for improvement of the ministry.

6. GOING INTO ACTION!!!
& FOLLOW-UP (Documented actions, statistics, pictures, stories).
Each of the trainees should do training for at least 10. other people among church members, relatives, friends, community members, at the work-place, or at the schools, and other concerned groups. This should be reported in the follow-up report every month and every quarter.

7. PUBLIC RELATION. PROMOTION, MEDIA PUBLICATIONS, CHURCH VISIBILITY, FUNDING REQUESTS, ETC.

- “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…” Matt 25:35-36.
SUMMARY OF SUPPORT GROUPS FOLLOW-UP.

It is very important to keep good information on the actions and achievements of the support group.
Regular evaluations meetings should be held on a weekly basis among the members of the group and also with the beneficiaries to obtain feed-back from them.
Meetings should be scheduled at least once a month, and reports sent to ministry or Sima Community based organization for evaluation. A quarterly meeting is required in the district with the participation of several support group leaders. A quarterly report should be sent from this meeting.

The following are just example of items to be considered:
1 Person/patients contacted and the type of care and/or support given
2 Activities carried out, contacts and meetings with members of the community.
3 Any meetings and/or training sessions at the church- Sensitization of church membership.
4 Advocacy activities at local level
5 Promotion, media, interviews, church visibility action.
CONCLUSION
To help fight HIV/AIDS:
Each evangelistic church, needs to become a SUPPORT CENTER for the community through:
• Assistance
• Counseling
• Social Support
• Home visiting and home based care
• Food parcels
• Hospital visiting
• Orphans support, care and treatment.
• Prayers/Bible teaching
• Etc…….

This initiative could make a good proposal and a project to be submitted for financial assistance, if necessary, to donor organizations inside or out side the country.

Desired OUTCOME:
 To raise interest and awareness among the leadership.
 To provide training to pastors/Youths/children’s/elders/department Directors/women groups.
 To constitute an HIV/AIDS Commission at the evangelistic or Sima staff’s /conference/mission level.
 All the departments, particularly by Health, Youth, women, education, family life, children, and communication departments, will organize this Commission. It is recommended that the chairman will be the conference/mission and other else.
 To name Church Based Support Group Leaders in each Church
 To provide training for the Church Based Support Group Leaders
 To implement the “Sima’s all board comprehensive Action by church Plan on HIV/AIDS” through all the fields. “field by field, church by church, member by member…”
 It is suggested a provision of funds in the church budgets
 Consideration of a special offering for HIV/AIDS.
 To make each of the evangelistic or Sima CBO churches a “SUPPORT CENTER FOR THE COMMUNITY on issues related with STIs & HIV/AIDS, as well as other needs.
 To involve all the lay church members in in-reach/outreach and evangelism.
 To practice the “Ministry of Love and Compassion with the People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs).


Sima Community Based Organization/Evangelistic Ministry

Country……………… Region/District……………………………………
FOLLOW-UP report – SUPPORT GROUPS ACTIVITIES.
(For Monthly Report & Combined Report for the Quarter due in 3 months)


Name of the Support Group Leader:…………………………………
Name of the Church or Organization: ……………………………….
Support Group started on: ………/……./…………….
HIV/AIDS Activities started……/……../…………
Number of members in the support group………Number of HIV+……..
Has the quarterly meeting been done? YES…..NO……Report sent? YES…..NO……


ACTIVITIES: What kind of activities?
(from the groups of Prevention, Care, and Impact Mitigation)
1. …………………………………………………………….
2. ……………………………………………………………….
3. …………………………………………………………………..
4. …………………………………………………………………….
5. …………………………………………………………………
6. ……………………………………………………………………
7. …………………………………………………………………………..
CONTACT – CONCERN – COMPASSION
Number of people trained………………………
Number of house visits…………………………
Number of hospital visits………………………..
Number of PLWHA identified…………………………..
CARE – CONFIDENCE
Number of PLWHA assisted……………………………..
Number of food parcels………………………………….
Materials distributed………………………………………
Number of orphans reached………………………………..
Orphans supported by the church or well wishes…………………….
Printed Material distribution, number of people reached……………..
Number of conferences in the church about HIV/AIDS……………..
CONVERSION
Number of bible studies…………………………………..
Number of people baptized………………………………..
Other activities……………………………………………………………
Sima Community Based Organization with the ministry
Training of Trainers Seminar –TOT
HIV/AIDS Church Based Support Group Leaders
Kitale, May 2006.
Ministry & Sima – Kitale, Kenya Declaration on HIV/AIDS

Considering that the HIV/AIDS pandemic represents a tragedy in the personal lives of many people in this country of Kenya.
That this disease is touching many members and families in our congregations,
That our country, community is suffering from the consequences of this calamity, We the ministry pastors, administrators, and church members, herby declare our full commitment to fight the against HIV/AIDS pandemic, and propose:
We were trying to encourage the women and youths to start or initiative any income generating activities to support them. Like sewing teaches women with HIV/AIDS self-sufficiency.
In our region where poverty and HIV/AIDS are inextricably linked, a recent workshop in Nzoia Count Council – Kitale taught women sewing skills as a means of income generation. The “workshop on sewing for HIV positive women is a small but significant step towards self-sufficiency where a third of the tiny country” adult population is living with HIV/AIDS. The participants were a mix of churches and community women and youths do not only learned sewing skills but learned more about HIV/AIDS awareness.
“poverty is very much related with the HIV epidemic and the progression of AIDS, many people infected with HIV die faster because of lack of food and basic care,” also they number of orphans increase in daily.
“ If people are trained in skills that will help in income generation, they will then eat better and live better, hence their lives will be prolonged” we also encourage, the trainees here have been trained in order to be able to generate income for themselves and above all, to be empowered to train others.
1. To talk openly in our churches about issues related with human sexuality as part of God’s plan
2. To talk openly in our churches about STIs & HIV/AIDS; to talk to the community about STLs & HIV/AIDS; to make of each church a “support center for the community” through “Church Based Support Groups”
3. To encourage HIV testing and counseling
4. To recommend HIV testing to the couples to be married
5. To broadly proclaim the main Ministry recommendations on HIV/AIDS, which are:
 EDUCATION + Voluntary Counseling & Testing
 ABSTINENCE for singles
 FAITHFULNESS for married (To have sex only within marriage and to be faithful to only one partner)
 PREVENTIONS: universal precautions for infections, condoms when 2+3 are not practiced, mother-child infection, and other measures of prevention.
 INTERVENTIONS-IMPACT MITIGATION: treatments Home based care, Care of Orphans, other.
6 To recommend that our members keep themselves well-informed on STIs & HIV/AIDS issues.
7 To recommend that HIV positive to do all within his/her power tp prevent others to get infected
8 To pray for those who are infected and affected
9 To show love and compassion in our thoughts, words, and actions to those who are infected and affected
10 To speak out against stigma and discrimination of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS
11 To encourage volunteer work to help the infected and affected by HIV/AIDS
12 To encourage the practice of an HIV-AIDS ministry of LOVE and Compassion through the Evangelistic and Sima Community Based Organization.
We are appeal well wishes, individuals, donors and other ministries to support our people in church and community. May God bless you when reading this our programs.

Yours Faithfully.
Pastor Johnstone Sikulu Wanjala
Programme Coordinator
Sima Community Based Organization
PO Box 1691, Kitale
30200 Kenya.

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Comment by vanThe Layman on May 29, 2009 at 7:07am
I am American HIV/AIDS....21 years surviour........Virus undetectable, CD4 count is up
Have Knowledge, and access to knowledge .....Desire to assist
Comment by vanThe Layman on May 29, 2009 at 7:04am
Iam that Iam......Jesus
I am Blessed......
I will assist

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