EDITOR'S NOTE: Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. Troy Lewis and his wife, Tracey, are serving in Africa through Southern Baptist gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and Cooperative Program, which fund the presence and missions outreach of nearly 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries internationally. Give to the Lottie Moon offering through your local Southern Baptist church or online at imb.org/offering, where there are resources to promote the offering. The goal is $175 million.
ZAMBIA (BP) -- As I go out and see the people that are laying on the mats, that are sick, a couple of things strike me: One is the most urgent people group to reach are those who are about to enter eternity, those who are about to close their eyes in death.
It doesn't get more important, more vital, more real than this. When people are in pain, are suffering, there's a difference that you can make by caring, by just encouraging, just by being there.
When I visit people, I pray that God will be with me to give me the words to say to be able to touch their hearts, to be able to touch their minds, to reach them and to share with them about the difference that Christ can make.
One of the people whose lives we've been able to impact has been a lady named Carol who lives up in Mufulira, in the northern part of Zambia. Carol was what many of us would think of as a regular church member. She attended church and lived a godly life, but around her there was so much suffering and so much death. It caused her to wonder what she could do to help people.
We provided training about how the church like hers could respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and be able to make a difference in touching lives and helping people prevent infection. As we touched her life through this ministry and through this teaching, we saw a tremendous change that took place in her where she just blossomed. She and many others like her from this church are going out and doing visitation and ministering to people who are suffering.
I'm so grateful for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program that make such a difference in the lives of so many people here in Zambia. This giving allows me to be able to touch lives like Carol. She's then able to touch others' lives to bring the love of Christ, the ministry of Christ to those the world considers the least of these.
Troy Lewis is a Southern Baptist missionary from Texas who serves in Zambia.