As the Convener turned the program over to the Tiwasonge Directory, Lucy, for a reflection on scripture, she turned to Matthew 25:35 – 36. “I like to read these verses when visitors come, “ she said and read,
‘for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
I actually began to let my mind wander as I prepared to hear her explain how the men and women of Tiwasunge (a community of persons living with HIV/AIDS who provide outreach and ministry of presence to others living with HIV/AIDS) live out this scripture. But I was startled when she turned to Morrais, Jeff and I to say that today, we had fulfilled the scripture by coming to them. She said that we had become the hands and feet of Christ by our presence in that circle of friends.
I was brought to tears, feeling a humility and unworthiness as I had never experienced. These people spend each and every day – not just living with HIV/AIDS without benefit of ARV’s themselves- but caring also for those in the wider community. They seek out those who have been shunned and neglected. They wash their bedsores, give instructions to their families and pray together daily for health and healing. I was simply there to listen and witness and pray with them. My contribution is negligible in comparison. But Lucy was so sincere, so forthright and so grateful.
There just are not words to adequately describe the generosity, transformation and love I witnessed at Tiwasunge.