The purpose of the trip is threefold:
- Enable these leaders to see firsthand the impact of HIV/AIDS on the ground in Malawi and South Africa.
- To enable these American leaders to meet and interact with African leaders, pastors, churches and organizations who are on the frontlines of the battle against AIDS and for community transformation.
- To see if any of these four churches are willing to to walk alongside African churches as they build hope, generate faith and minister in neighbourhoods and communities devastated by the AIDS pandemic.
I think that one of my biggest challenges as I lead this team of leaders will be to help them understand that the American "can do" attitude is the one we need to lay down. As Americans we DO, we plan, we attack problems, we try to solve them, and often without meaning to, we run over those we are "ministering to". But the challenge is to help them understand that if anything is going to happen positively in the battle against AIDS, it will take a "mission with" attitude, not a "mission to" attitude. We need to be humble, be willing for our African brothers and sisters to take the lead, and be willing to follow. That is very hard for us.
So pray for our team of leaders -- that we would become followers and learners.
We'll talk to you again in June -- hopefully with some pictures and good stories and reports.