My old schoolmate Fr. Athanasius is visiting from South Africa, where he has started and serves many missions as well as a tremedous HIV/AIDS ministry.  You can catch him at presanctified and salutations services this week as well as Sunday at the Cathedral.  He visited with our GOYA tonight – below is a picture of him with some of the GOYAns.  There is a lot to talk about concerning this saintly man, so I will concentrate on one thing – the HIV/AIDS ministry.  South Africa is a place where five million (out of fifty million) are HIV-positive, and that is just the ones who report it.  The church’s ministry there concentrates on two things – ministering to those afflicted with AIDS, and trying to prevent the spread of this containable disease.  Father, in his talk to the GOYAns, talked about the importance of faithfulness.  The South African government has in recent years given out condoms and taken other such actions to try to stop the spread of HIV.  Numbers have risen despite, or perhaps because, of these efforts, with an increase in risky behavior.  Father emphasized that condoms and other measures are creations of man and therefore imperfect, whereas faithfulness to a partner comes from God and is thus perfect.  I have never thought of things in these terms – we were all enlightened and inspired by Fr. Akunda.

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