SERVLIFE EXPANDS: Meeting Disease with Hope, Serving Life in South Africa

By God’s grace, the work of ServLife continues to expand and we’re grateful for some new workers who have joined our team. As you know, the work and ministry of ServLife happens through people who love God – and Steven and Amy Nicholson are among them! Based in Capetown, South Africa, this couple is partnering with us in responding to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which is one of the greatest challenges of South Africa today. With an estimated 6 million South Africans infected with HIV, the largest number of people living with the virus in a single country, this is a land that needs hope, help and the promise of healing.

Take a look at this entry from Steve’s blog:

Our friend, Wendy, a Trinidadian-American volunteer, worked with a local organization here to help start a class that would teach sewing skills to a group of HIV positive men and women. After months, this class ended, with the men and women confident in their newly acquired sewing skills.

I have to admit, I questioned the efficacy of such a class. With so few job prospects on the horizon and the lack of business skills that help these people become self-sustaining, I wondered how their newfound trade could serve them.

So, as part of their training, I began teaching some basic business skills. A few months back, Amy and I traveled to Kenya to become trainers, and then began sharing basic business principles with this small community of seamstresses. And just this week, the class graduated with both a foundation in business skills and a great knowledge of sewing. Now they’re ready to strike out on their own  and next year, they’ll be invited back to an advanced course to learn more sewing and more business. By then, they will have paid back the cost of the brand new sewing machines they got at graduation.

Thanks be to God, for bringing many of these entrepreneurs back from death’s door. Now they’ve had the chance to learn a life-sustaining skill that can provide for their families.

There were fourteen graduates this week. Fourteen doesn’t really sound like a lot. After all, there are millions of unemployed people in South Africa, millions who test HIV positive. So what could fourteen graduates effect?

Amy and I did the math. And our tally showed that these 14 women and men are responsible for supporting 59 people. Fifty-nine others are dependent on these fourteen for their livelihood. Fifty-nine people are praying that the businesses of these 14 succeed. So today, we celebrated what would be otherwise crooked math: 14 is equal to 59. Praise be to God!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.