Where and When It Hurts Most: The Theology of Hope and Accompaniment in the Context of HIV and Aids in Marriage and Family Life

In: Exchange
Mashau Professor of Missiology at the Faculty of Theology of the North-West University

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The reality and effects of HIV and Aids are enormous and devastating, i.e. marriages are broken, the married are widowed and children become orphans. This has direct impact in the church's life in that some of the people infected and affected by the spread of HIV and Aids are members of the global church. In most cases these people are rejected and judged by the church without realising that the church is rejecting its own. Metaphorically speaking the church of God is HIV positive whenever one of its own is positive. The main question that this paper addresses is: what is it to become a church when and where the effects of HIV and Aids shake marriages and families? What should be the response of the church in the light of the scourge that she faces? This paper proposes a theology of hope and accompaniment that seeks to stand in solidarity with those infected and affected by HIV and Aids thereby providing them with hope that enables them deal with the present as they wait eagerly for the future.

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