Over the past few years much has been written on “Soul Care.” Today, while on the field I observed a whole new picture of what this looks like. I’m in Kitwe, Zambia with dear friends Edward and Barbra Mwansa.
One of the many ministries that they oversee is a maternity home for unwed mothers. All of the moms have led lives that eventually resulted in their contracting HIV/AIDS and a pregnancy. They have been sexually active most of their young lives, initially not by choice but developing later as a lifestyle. They come to the home with no family support system, no financial help, no health care insurance, no friends, and no hope for the future. They are gradually dying and they have been told by someone that they must abort their baby or the baby will certainly be born with the HIV/AIDS virus.
When a girl comes to the maternity home she hears for the first time a very different story. She hears what Barbra calls “The Voice of Love.” This voice moves this young woman from all the voices of hopelessness, the voices of rejection, and the voices of death to the message of life, the message of peace, and the message of hope.
She hears for the first time since she has contracted the virus and become pregnant, that there is more life for her to live and also a bright future for her baby. Just by accepting her, giving her a safe place for her to live, and teaching her new life skills, her own life is re-energized – resulting in more days, possibly years of life. It is amazing what being loved can do for a person!
Additionally, she is told that there is a high probability that her child would be HIV/AIDS free after being born if she follows the council of the maternity home leaders and takes the medications offered by the doctors.
The amazing truth about this story is, every young woman going through this maternity home program has given birth to a HIV/AIDS free baby. Every baby born whose mom was in this program is HIV/AIDS free! This is very impressive but even more powerful is the impact this has on the moms. Every time a baby is born, they go through a series of tests. During this time all of the moms are praying and hoping that the results would indicate a healthy baby. Every time when the results have come back, the results were the baby is free from HIV/AIDS and every time the entire maternity home erupts with an explosion of clapping hands and songs of praises to God.
Even though each mom knows they have an incurable virus, they now have a new hope for the future for their own child and the children of others. They have found “Healing for their Souls” that they never dreamed possible.
This ministry is not only bringing new hope for each mom, but the whole community is changing one life at a time. The whole community is experiencing healing for its soul and eventually, as these children grow up in the ways of the Lord, they will become future leaders and bring healing of the soul for their nation. This is the hope and dream of Edward and Barbara. After seeing this myself, it is my hope and dream as well! I’m motivated to do what I can to help this dream become a reality. Will you join me in your prayers as we continue to labor with Edward and Barbra for the healing of the soul of Zambia?