AIDS CARE 2015 – Why Can’t We Show the World We Belong To Each Other?

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Today’s guest post comes to us from Amanda Miles and my new friends at The Meeting House. Amanda is the Compassion Pastor at The Meeting House and she’s stopping by the blog today to share about AIDS CARE and a super simple way you can get involved in their effort to provide comfort to folks living with HIV & AIDS in southern Africa. After you read her post, make sure you check out the fantastic video they’ve put together with a couple of the cutest kids you’ll ever see who explain what goes into an AIDS CARE kit. Then follow The Meeting House on Twitter and like them on Facebook so you can keep up with everything that’s going on with this wonderful campaign.

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Soko’s words rolled around in my head, “from here, you push in your soap. Back there, it is a prayer answered.” Simple, ordinary soap: the answer to someone else’s prayer? Something stirred inside me to say, I want to be the answer to someone else’s prayer. Whether near or far, what a privilege it would be, to be so in tune with Jesus that someone on the other side of the world might whisper their needs to Him, and I might hear them.

Our church (The Meeting House), first partnered with Mennonite Central Committee in 2008. It began when a small group of people from one of our sites decided to support the work of MCC in southern Africa by collecting and sending everyday items, used by volunteer home-based caregivers to improve the quality of life of hundreds of people living with HIV/AIDS. The impact of these Kits was extremely positive and our church family decided to embrace the project and make it an annual campaign.

As we learned more about the great work of MCC, we quickly developed another aspect to the campaign that would help raise money to support numerous other development projects that supported communities most impacted by HIV/AIDS. These funds were collected in the form of $100 AIDS CARE Cards. To date, we have raised over $1.6 million in AIDS CARE Kits and Cards, and we’re at it again this year.

Across all of our 15 sites, we have already been hearing some fantastic stories of creative fundraising from people of all ages and stages! Kids have been participating in ‘Amazing Race’ style Kit collections, earning money for Care Cards by shoveling snow, or selling hand-made bracelets and home baked cookies. While some of our home churches are hosting online auctions, others are organizing volleyball tournaments, dance parties and poker nights. One couple even sold “kisses for AIDS CARE” at their wedding reception, while another rented out snowshoes for people to take a tour of their frozen lake!

Little by little we are changing the way that we interact with the world. Our neighbour is no longer just the person who lives next door, but they are also the mom, the uncle, the child who is praying to God for help and relief. While we can be an answer to their prayers, in turn they are an answer to ours as we seek to live out an others-centred, Jesus-focused life.

On Sunday March 8, 2015 we hope to raise another quarter of a million dollars by collecting 750 AIDS CARE Kits and 2,300 AIDS CARE Cards. By giving to specific MCC projects in southern Africa, we are putting money in the hands of those who know best how to help alleviate the struggles and bring restoration to people who need it most. To join us in our efforts, or make a donation in the form of an AIDS CARE Card, please visit: http://www.themeetinghouse.com/aidscare