Let me take a break for a moment from the topic or book I am discussing to you about on my past few blogs, Frank Worthen's This Way Out. I know I said I will write about "Doing the Ordinary" chapter but please allow me to tell about the workshop I have attended last April 15-22 held at Bay view Park Hotel in Manila. The workshop was about the "Channels of Hope" program originally developed by Christian AIDS Bureau of Southern Africa or CABSA from a Christian perspective. It was a facilitators training that aims to educate the faith leaders on HIV and AIDS and eventually have them lead the de-stigmatization of the community on this pandemic. This is the ministry I have prayed for the Lord and I hope this is the start of it. When I became positive with HIV, I have wanted to make this unexpected consequence of my sinful action into something beautiful which will affect change not only to my life but to others lives as well.
In the workshop, the trainers headed by Christo Greyling of World Vision South Africa; tackled about HIV and AIDS from basic to more than the basics, from diagnosis to acceptance, on how to live positively, ARV or antiretroviral treatment, prevention strategies, Christian and community response on the issue and mobilizing a church community. I, myself, have given my testimony to show to my fellow participants how and what is really going on to the life of a person living with HIV. It was my first time to tell my story in front of people, there are about 35 of them, and I never thought that I would get emotional but it was alright. They were touched by my struggles but the good thing was they have seen the picture of someone with HIV like me. They we're happy about my decision of following the Lord and having a very positive outlook in life.
Actually, lots of them said a lot of beautiful things about what's coming in to my life like God will use me to bless lots of people. But the most nerve-wracking was when they we're kidding me that I will become a pastor and even talks about studying in a theological institute! Well, God knows that I don't want to be like one but if it is His plan that's fine with me I think. Also I would love to study Counseling Psychology so I hope and pray that God will allow this thing to happen.
Aside from the fact that I have met Christo, the best thing that ever happened in that workshop is gaining 34 friends from the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, India, and Indonesia. It was extremely wonderful experience indeed and I am very excited to do this Channels of Hope not only here in the country but also to other parts of the world as well.