HIV and the Church

Posted by Ashley Eure

“I have a testimony to share,” says Solomon, a young man who serves on the worship team of his church in Huye, Rwanda. It’s only been a few weeks since a Saddleback HIV/AIDS PEACE team visited his church, Restoration Church, to help them better reach their community and expand their care for the sick. Solomon had attended a community gathering where the team had helped brainstorm how the church can come alongside people living with HIV/AIDS, remove stigma and offer support.

When Solomon attended the gathering, he, along with others, admitted that he didn’t know of anyone living with HIV. While there were surely people they knew who were struggling, apparently they didn’t feel safe enough to share their status. “I said our community is responsible for the fact that people don’t speak out,” he recalls.

It was only a few days later when God capitalized on Solomon’s new openness: “In the morning a woman in her late fifties came asking for help. I said in my heart, ‘God is giving me an opportunity to reach out. While I talked with her, she opened up to tell me she is HIV positive.” Sensing her need for community, Solomon arranged a time to visit and pray with her. The woman was grateful for someone to talk to; she offered Solomon a pumpkin and shared her hardships for an hour. 

“I was again filled with joy seeing her – my mother is the same age,” he notes.

While visiting, Solomon discovered some of the woman’s HIV medications are close to expiring and helped her create a plan to get new ones. He continues to plan to visit her as part of his ministry in his church. 

Solomon credits the PEACE team with helping open his eyes to serve in this way: “Surely you didn’t come with just words to convince us, but a big heart filled with love. I ask for continued prayer that it becomes a door to reaching out to others to carry God’s love and compassion. The message shifted my paradigm, and I believe it is a beginning. God with do more with what I am, because I am not mine.”


If you would like more information on how you can serve on PEACE trip to equip churches to care for the sick in their communities, email HIV@saddleback.comor call 949-609-8555.

Add a Comment
  • Mail To
//Recent Posts