Jon & Dawn Barnes - South Africa
This is a "Memory Pin" designed by members of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) and they were made by a group of HIV-infected women who are "living positively" with AIDS. The UCCSA hopes that by wearing this pin, it will break the silence about how AIDS is affecting us all.
“They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.” Psalm 78:35
This is a “Memory Pin” designed by members of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) and they were made by a group of HIV-infected women who are “living positively” with AIDS. The UCCSA hopes that by wearing this pin, it will break the silence about how AIDS is affecting us all. The church is asking people to wear this pin in memory of a friend or family member whose life has been lost to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. When one wears the pin, one is asked to remember the love that the person shared with the individual and with the world. The goal is to support feeding schemes for children who have become orphaned and vulnerable due to HIV and AIDS.
This pin was introduced to the members of the UCCSA at the 33rd Assembly in September 2005. And at this UCCSA Assembly there were more than 70 UCCSA members that were tested for HIV/AIDS. It can be proudly said that the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa is making a difference in the lives of people who are both infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. It can also be said that the church here in Africa is educating congregations and communities, that the church is speaking out about this pandemic and that the congregations are acting in love to heal, to give peace and to bring hope to those living with AIDS.
As a missionary in South Africa, I ask that as we celebrate World AIDS Day that we not only remember those who we have lost to this disease, but remember those whom are living with this disease, day in and day out. May we seek to be God to them and may we also remember that we serve a living God, our rock and our redeemer.
Rev. Dawn Barnes
Jonathan and Dawn Barnes are missionaries with the Kei Regional Council of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, South Africa. Jonathan serves in pastoral ministries among the churches in the region. Dawn serves in pastoral ministries and social work.