Below is an article about Pastor Wozifera Ngoma, one of the pastors that works with our Pastor Leadership and Development Team (PLD) in ACTION Zambia and also one of the pastors/churches that has gone through the CROSS Project.
The small article below outlines three issues that we encounter all the time as we teach through the CROSS Project:
1. Pastors telling their congregants that they need to stop taking life-giving drugs, like ARV’s, which help their immune systems stay strong against the harmful and destroying effects of HIV. Why would a pastor do this? Obviously, I can’t say why for every case, but in many cases it is because of the rapid advancement and teaching of the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity “Gospel.” Pastors are taught from that movement that if a person is taking something like medicine, they are not fully trusting in God for healing, and thus God will not heal them! So, you need to stop leaning on the crutch of medicine and trust fully in faith that God will heal (more accurately described as “having faith in your faith”). And God won’t heal, people are told, unless they stop taking medicine and have faith. And if you are not healed, it means that you lack faith.
2. The second issue we encounter in CROSS is parents not talking to their kids about HIV/AIDS. This is something we deal with head on in CROSS in our Family Disclosure Lesson. Almost without fail, parents here in the churches we teach are very reluctant to talk to their kids about sex and HIV/AIDS. It’s a very hard and awkward thing to do, and they worry that their kids will tell their friends, and then people in the community will find out about their HIV status.
3. A third thing we face a lot in CROSS is couples not going in for HIV testing. Even though to us it seems like such a logical thing to do, people are still afraid to know their HIV status and disclose it to their spouse and family.
So, it’s encouraging to read about Pastor Wozifera Ngoma and Nurse Giveness Mwangala from George Clinic that are making a stand and speaking truth!
“Church leaders urged to avoid discouraging members from taking ARVs
A clergyman has called on church leaders not to stop their churchmembers from taking Anti Retroviral Drugs (ARVs).
Faith Tabernacle Church of Matero in Lusaka Pastor Wozifera Ngoma said the church should encourage their members to adhere to treatment and not discourage them from taking ARVs which are life saving drugs.
Pastor Ngoma said only medical personnel have the ability to advise patients when to start or stop taking the drugs.
He said this when he officiated during the commemoration of World AIDS Day in Matero Constituency under the theme” Getting to Zero in Zambia, Zero new infections, Zero deaths and Zero stigma and discrimination”.
Pastor Ngoma said as the church they will endeavour to continue with the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and that they will keep encouraging people to go for VoluntaryCounselling and Testing (VCT).
And a nurse from George Clinic Giveness Mwangala has called on parents to openly start talking to their children about HIV/AIDS instead of them hearing about it in the media.
Ms Mwangala said HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention should start from homes where people are coming from in order for the country to achieve the zero infection rate.
She said couples should also be going for VCT in order to protect their unborn children if they know their HIV status.”