The widespread prevalence of HIV/AIDS on the African continent cannot be overstated. You know the statistics. You know the needs. One of the many TWR programmes being broadcast in response to this disease in Africa is Bonson Kisili. This means, Save a Generation in Bambara - a language spoken in West Africa. It's living up to its name. Akua1 testifies to it.
Akua1 is HIV Positive. She lives in Côte d'Ivoire and her life has been hard. She has experienced the death of loved ones, rejection, fear and isolation. Yet in the midst of all this, she has discovered others who are HIV positive and in their midst she has found the support and guidance that has helped her break through and not give up. She has also become an avid listener of Bonson Kisili. She had this to say about the programme:
"Listening to Save a Generation has been enriching. Listening to the testimonies that people give is moving to the point where I think that if you are someone who doesn't know their status, you will be motivated to go and have the test done. Listening to people's stories has an impact on you, whether it's going to have your test done, or becoming more aware of what you're doing and what risks you're taking, or having the sense to finally start heeding the expert's advice. I think you'll find that the programme really enriches your life.
"The messages presented on the radio talk shows really save lives. You could be sick and really struggling, and maybe even scared to go to a clinic, but once you hear the encouragement and advice that has been given on air, it may stir you to look into your situation. And that could be all it takes to make the call between your life and death."
Akua is one of many who feel this way. It takes great courage for an HIV positive person to share about their status and experience. She represents a multitude of grateful listeners. As much as Akua needs to hear the message of Bonson Kisili, she has a message to share with people who are suffering from HIV/AIDS:
" ... I really urge people to know their status as that is one of the best things you could do. Ignorance is not bliss. There is an abundance of information and medication out there that could really improve your quality of life if you'll let it. It is true that prevention is better than cure, but if you have made a mistake, know that there is hope, so don't be afraid.
"... accept your status and then ... If you accept the fact that you're sick, then you'll be better equipped to deal with it and live longer, but if you keep fighting it and refuse to take the medication, then I think you will enter an early grave. Accept it, live positively and trust that God will take care of the rest.
"I'd also like to add that just because you have HIV doesn't mean that you can't get out there and do something. Be productive and responsible - don't just sit and do nothing and expect everyone to do things for you. You must be willing to work and work hard. Being HIV positive is not the end of the world so don't think of it as a death sentence, because if you take your medication, you'll be able to live life like everyone else and when your time comes, it comes."
Pray for Akua and the hundreds like her who are benefitting from Bonson Kisili. Pray that they will not only find physical help with their disease, but that they would also find spiritual life in Jesus.
Published: 28 September 2010