The four global travelers on this trip related to Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) and the HIV and AIDS Strategy landed safely in Johannesburg last evening (Saturday). Lita Johnson, Benyam Kassahun, Louis Dorvilier, and myself were warmly welcomed by ELCA GM staff, Pr Phil Knutson, and brought to our accomodations here at the LUCSA (Lutheran Union of South African churches) facilities.
This morning we worshiped with a Lutheran congregation in Soweto, and were treated to a wonderful lunch after. We were accompanied at worship by Bishop Ambrose Moyo, Executive Director of LUCSA, and Central Diocese Bishop Phaswana. In greeting the congregation during the service I was particularly interested to hear Bishop Phaswana speak about a recent conference on HIV and AIDS which he attended in Nairobi, Kenya, and the enthusiasm he has for telling his members to know their status, a theme which was echoed by Bishop Moyo in his greeting. Both of them were grateful for the partnership of the ELCA’s Conference of Bishops in their decision to be tested during their March, 2009, meeting, as well.
Both Bishops also stressed the importance of precautions around malaria, which isn’t as critical in this immedicate area as it will be in Malawi where we travel tomorrow.
A visit to the Apartheid Museum left us all quiet and reflective this afternoon. Powerfully presented information about such a significant movement and piece of who South Africans are today. Hopefully, we’ll share more about that later.
Thanks for your prayer support.
Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl, Coordinator for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative