Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Letter from India Pastor

Dear Kathi

Greetings. Hope you are doing fine.
This morning the Holy Spirit was burdening me to pray for you and your ministry.
I hope everything is going on well with you 
God said He is going to enlarge your territory and bless you 
Something you were dreaming and praying is going to happen soon.
So keep on believing and trusting in Him 

As you know we have just celebrated our 40th Anniversary of the Ministry. I would like to thank you for all the support and prayers you have extended to us  
We have just taken 50 more HIV/AIDS affected widows into our SALT program. 
Each widow is supported with $ 20 per month for their food and medical also so that their life will be extended to one more month. Also we have 250 HIV Children under our care.
We have 20 more applications for micro finance. Please pray for this need so that their life can be a little bit easy.

Looking forward to hear from you 

Pastor Daniel

Story of Sister Rosy who received a Micro finance
​My name s Rosy. I was born and brought in a Roman Catholic family. My parents were so devote Catholics and raised us in a very strict moral way. After my college education my parents arranged a marriage for me .We were happily in our life. God blessed us with 2 children. When I was admitted in the hospital for the second delivery of the child I was infected with HIV through blood transition. I did not know this for many years .Finally I came to know that I am HIV positive .When my husband herd this he disowned me and took my children and went away from me. I was thrown out of my house too. I did not know what to do. First I wanted to commit suicide and put an end to my life. Even from my child hood I used to pray to Jesus. I prayed to Jesus and I knew if I commit suicide I will not go to heaven. I wanted to be with Jesus when I die. That desire and thought pulled me back from committing suicide. But I did not know how to live and where to live .Finally I decided to leave my village and go to a faraway village. With the little jewelry I had as my own I left my home and village and came to Trichur. I sold my gold and rented a small house to live. From the very younger days I was so fond of gardening and raising An-thorium flowers. With little money I had i bought flower pots. But I did not have any money to buy plants. Meanwhile I found a support group for HIV patients in Trichur and came to know about Voice of Gospel Ministry that works among HIV /Aids affected people. I shared my story with them. Pastor Daniel was so compassionate and mercy to me to grant a loan for $ 100 for plants .Today my plants grow so well and I made a profit of $ 200 from the first batch of plants. I am so thankful to God and Voice of Gospel for helping me to find a living. Today I encourage other women in our support group to do some type of business to earn some money .Now I have asked another loan of $ 200 to enlarge my gardening business .Today I am so happy and I have a great hope about my life I have no time to think about my sickness .I enjoy my life .

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fruitful trip to Kerala

Hi Sandy & Kathi

Greetings.

Followed Sandy's FB posts and am happy for you guys and for your fruitful trip to Kerala.

Here in the meantime we have purchases a sewing machine for Jeyanthi. She and her mom (a widow too) and her daughter are extremely happy for this gift. You can see them in the pictures attached. You have pictures of some dresses which Jeyanthi has already made after learning the tailoring skill.

So it is a very apt gift to a very needy family. 

Next time when she visits us we can take a small video-clip of Jeyanthi expressing her thanks to the donor.

Love 
Grace & Suresh









Friday, June 19, 2015

Photos

Pastor Shibi's Mercy home, wife on left. 7 HIV infected boys along with his son and daughter 

Kathi passing out sweets

The meal after passing out micro finance loans and high protein food kits (the small room you see is a sewing room to train women to stitch clothes).

The crowd in attendance

Kathi and one of the administrators of an AID/HIV programs in a coastal community we went to.

Dr who treats children with HIV passing out food kits and a backpack to the boy and girl with highest marks in school

The workers at coastal facility, 

Our welcome drink, fresh coconut water,

Mercy center phase two under construction, these small rooms will be housing for retired Pastor/sleeping quarters for children during retreat!

Walking the property, Pastor Daniel has a wonderful vision just needs Money to complete!

I am in Dubai

Good morning, i am in Dubai meeting with old friends and relaxing before the 16 hour trip home.  it will be fine, as my friend jonathan from Emirates Air ( Jeanne Benders son\\0 will help me get good seat.

I arrived from kerela after leaving Sandy to return to Deheradun yesterday am at 6;30.  my friend were kind enough to meet me and we checked into the holiday inn express hotel by the aiport. boy did i sleep. last night we went to an African church praise program- my very favorite kind of music and worship. home at 1 am and today i go see the children of moses and Susan 93 babies) then to dinner with jonathan.   tomorrow out the door at 6 am to catch flight. i am full of great memories and have much to share. God bless \paul for his help. \excuse the errors in this email. it is a European keyboard., 


see you soon 
love kathi

OVER THE TOP MINISTRY TO MUSLIMS AND NON BELIEVERS

Hello to you all, 

Today was AMAZING- OVER THE TOP MINISTRY TO MUSLIMS AND NON BELIEVERS - OVER  250 in the church who came to support the 40 persons ( Widows and HIV+) persons who received a small amount of start up monies for micro finances i.e.. around $50 to each person.. This means they will pay back the loan within two years and write a report to the church about their progress.  I want to return and give a business seminar. Some of the group also received the nutritious food bags to help those who are HIV+ to be able to take their meds.  The people were receptive to Christian teaching, and some came afterwards for prayers for their pain. God knows who got healed and I believe His presence in that room was powerful.  Because if some of your donations to the program, four people were funded by you. i will write up their stories ( most are going into the goat business or the tailoring one; i chose a girl /lady who is selling Tamerin ( a sour vegie) door to door plus she is a tailor.  SHe is ambitious and will do well. Also we have a lady who already has 101 plants that are growing vegies on her top floor- she will add another 101 plants with the money.  These loans will be monitored and i fell we have really given to the needy and deserving.

Yesterday we had a long long day- drove 4/5 hours one way to visit a new HIV+ group to give out food, and serve them a meal.  it was very tiring and hard on my back to be honest. One time i will do this- then i'd decline to go.  We were so tired last night I crashed so we rested.

Right now we are going to visit two Mercy Homes- one for girls and one for boys en route to the airport where we have a room for around $80 USD to rest until i have to be at check in at airport at 1 am for a 4 Am flight to Dubai. We just finished power shopping for some artefacts.  at the mall, and to get mango candy at the grocery ( its very good), and Pastor's wife gave us some scarves for gifts and now we are going to contribute lots of money to the ministry called Voice of Gospel-  in the last 3 years they have increased the number of persons touched by the church with food and or money from 7 to 1000. This pastor is amazing in his dedication; also we are paying  him lots extra for the transportation, the food we ate, the food we helped distribute, the motorcycle transport for many of the people. sp coming here costs a lot ( hotel bill was over $300 usd) but i know God is pleased with the results and I trust him for finances today and forever.


bless you all and i will see you soon. 
Full of love and gratitude for you all. 





Monday, June 15, 2015

My India Traveling Partner

This is the lady we need to pray for- my travelling, partner- Sandy- her arm is healing slowly. Pray for it to be totally healed. God is an all-powerful God. 

Thanks 
kathi 


Sunday in Kerela

I just spoke at the Full Gospel Church of Kerela ( a coastal state in the southern tip of India- across from Shri Lanka).  - Pastor Daniel's church, the man i heard preach at MVCC.  He has such a passion for HIV+ people and together we asked the whole church to stand if they agreed to take a stand to fight the enemy's use of the virus and use it instead as an evangelical tool. He has partnered with a local non profit  called TnT who creates bundles of nutritious foods, including lots of brown rice, for HIV+ children. The 70 pounds they receive free each month sustain their lives and not one child has died since they begun this program.  Its a great outreach to Muslims and non believers and children. Yesterday I gave my testimony to 70+ HIV+ women/children all crammed into one hot room.  but it was so fun.

There is lots of ministry opportunities here. Tues. we are offering 40 micro finance loans ( most of the funding is from his Church) And tomorrow over 70+ HIV postiive women with new comers receiving the food packets.  It's amazing to see their response.

gots to go eat- time for lunch. 

blessings, Kathi.  

Some photos of the wonderful people we are meeting

Lovely children in chennai


1 month supply of high protein foods for 1 child

Director of NGO that distributes food

Pastor (Dr. Rev) Daniel and Kathi









Friday, June 12, 2015

My Journey Continues

Today we travelled ( flew) from Chennai to Kerela- a beautiful on the beach Hawaii like coastal area to meet with Pastor Daniel whom I met at MVCC. His lovely wife picked us up and we drove to Trichur to really nice hotel ( not a YWCA), and out to lunch then a rest before reconvening in the Pm.  I must admit i am fighting something- a cold plus the big D and it's just likely a result of the water ( brushing my teeth in the tap) or the food, which is very spicy and i love it, perhaps it's just  life on the road. Anyway I could use  your prayers and thank you in advance for healing petitions.  Also i am very tired, somewhat grumpy right now, but we are in another state in India which is like being in another country. While money stays consistent, language and customs varry state to state, making travel to a new area somewhat challenging.   

We are down to our last 4 days in India and i haven't really been able to write much on this blog, but then I don't know if anyone is ready it anyway. 

DID ANY OF YOU GO TO FACEBOOK TO SEE THE SUPER PHOTOS?  Sandy my traveling companion, has posted many of the pics from the last two days on facebook and i would love you all to see them. I know you don't use FB Arlene or Carolyn but you do Jen.  And knowing they are there, maybe someone can show you how to get on to see them. 

This has been a fabulous trip- meeting some really wonderful people and experiencing good ministry. Arlene you will be pleased to note that some of your money along with Lee's has been used to bless a pastor who has 3 girls, a lovely wife, and houses 20 orphans.  That alone justified giving him some seed money. But then he runs a mercy home for blind children and now wants to open another home for the children with leprosy. Yes it's still running rampent here in India and the kids are so stigmatized.  So a hundred dollars meant a lot to him while his real goal Paul is to build a home for himself, family and the 20 orphans he houses-  They want $28,000 for a concrete slab 3 bedroom house, and i'll just be you could build it much cheaper, if he weren't in the middle of INdia in the interior.  Of course transporting your materials would be too hard. 

i have to get ready for going out with Pastor Daniels wife with whom i feel very comfortable. i don't feel too good so i will come back as early as possible. but then Carolyn  you remember what's its like to try to set your own schedule when you are overseas.  it's at their mercy that we are. 

much love to all and hope/pray all is well with you. 

blessings Kathi

Please Go To My Facebook Page

Praise reports from last two days of ministry. Our first micro finance loan was made to very poor widow with 10 year old who desperatly wants to start her tailor business. We bought her a sewing machine. I cried. And we met non profit organization that uses music and comedy to teach morals and help hiv people to want to live. Today we visited (4,hrs) a safety net home for children with aids. It was over the top. 





I'm able to post photos of my India trip on Facebook.  Please go there to view them.

https://www.facebook.com/kathi.winter.104

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Email from Pastor in India

Hello Kathy,
This is pastor Sanjay n family from north India. 


Would like t give much thanks f ur kind precious time n fellowship of aids ministery seminar u done in our church, Y's it was blessing _ learn. Many people like n blessed. Even people heal by yours prayers.


We use t continues follow up n like u do this precious service in our community too.
Thanks t sandy too.


My family send love.
Sanjay n family. 

Poor Internet Connections

Dear friends

I'm sorry I haven't been able  to reach you on  internet as it keeps crashing and I've just been sad but all is well and this is the most fascinating trip.i am  In south of india in chennai and it's 90 degrees and foods hot  too. I love it-a beautiful city as we prepare 3 meetings -1 is at  aids children's home. I will forward email from pastor of little village church in North where we held 3 hour Hiv education to many non believers. (Lots of muslims). It was a powerful time and I was so blessed.

Last night sandy and I rode auto taxi (LIKE ONES IN EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL MOVIE). India is busy noisy crowded and fascinating. Wonderful to travel with my friend sandy jackson.-she knows customs including keeping scarf over front of me for modesty at all times in public. Try doing this while sweating. But I want to respect cultural norms.

please continue to pray for our health. And know I wish you all could see this country. 

Sorry  for no photos here in. Cant figure out Internet much less pics. It's so hard. This is my first time. 

So glad to chat with you. 
Love kathi

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A few last minute thoughts….

1.   Some of you have gone to my new website www.kathiwinter.com and to the blog. I have posted some articles/HIV educational material.  Soon I will be able to comment on my travels.  My brother was kind enough to suggest some instructions:
a.       If you want to send me a comment you have to have a google account
b.      Go to the bottom of the blog and click on “no comment.”  That brings up a window to post a comment but you have to select a profile which offers a drop down of google account, etc.
c.       I would LOVE to hear from some of you just to know I am not forgotten ( there is a good Christian song that says “ I am not forgotten)
d.      I found out the reason it’s good to have a google account to sign in is to avoid spam- google prevents all junk spam.  So thank to web designer Paul, this is good thing.

2.   Yes there has been a heat wave in India and many people are suffering. I am asking you to join me in prayer for those who have little water and no covering to have the Lord intercede to assist them. For me I will be with Sandy in the North near New Delhi for the first 5 days. But by June 8 I pray the heat wave will have passed. We know in the South it will be hot and sticky. Please pray for me.

3.   Finances:  I am covering Sandy’s travel costs as she hasn’t been able to do much fund raising- but her arm while stiff at times and swollen, seems to be good enough that it’s all systems go.
Lastly I couldn’t go on this trip if it weren’t for my friends and my Church.  I have such great support from people like Jen l who is watching my house, Terri W who is lovingly taking my cats into her home, Arlene who provides excellent computer support, John who takes my Esther dog whenever I am gone, and on and on.  I thank you one and all for loving me, and caring about the hurting peoples of this world.
I promise to do my best to stay healthy, not complain (I signed an agreement with God), and to enjoy this great opportunity to grow and stretch myself.  I won’t deny it- I have some concerns.  But I know I am going for a purpose, and serving in God’s army is the best thing I could ever do.

Be blessed and see you soon (home June 20). Love you very much. God bless you all Kathi


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Notes on being a widow in India

Hindus form the majority of the population in India. For a Hindu, widowhood means not only the loss of a husband, but lifelong misery and pain, suffering and agony.  They are the talk of the community. Yes there has been some modernization- i.e.  Women leaders like Indira Gandhi, plus the child marriage age was moved to 14 yrs. Old.

However,  even girls of 5 are married off to 75 years old (no dowry required),  and yet once she is a widow, she is forbidden to remarry.  There is no doubt that widowhood is more scary and painful than death.  Her sinfulness is thought to be the cause of her husband’s death so she has to lead a life of deprivation and misery. 

India women especially become the target of many superstitions and social attitudes. In traditional societies, especially in rural area, widowhood is considered as a curse brought about by some sin.  Even her shadow is considered polluting or offensive to the “cleaner” members of society.  A Hindu widow is not allowed to attend any rituals or celebrations that form an integral part of Indian life. 

The help is to be found in Scriptures for widows and the bereaved.  Works like
John 14:18 I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS. 

PROMISES in Isaiah 54 :4  “Fear not, thou shall not remember the reproach of the widowhood.”

6-7:  “The Lord has called thee as a women forsaken and grieved in spirit- with great mercies I will gather thee”

James 1:28:  “True relation is caring for the widows and orphans. “

Prov.15:25  “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud; but he will establish the border of the widow.”

Jer 49:11:  “Yet leave to me the orphans. I will save  them -your widows too trust me.”

Ps 16:9 “The Lord sustains the fatherless and widow” 

There is a vast difference between being a widow and a widower.  A widower is often economically independent.  He does not face social stigma, nor does this change his very self- identity as it does a woman. Note there is no word widower in the Bible. Very realistically portrayed.

As mentioned previously, the  word “widow” is derived from Latin: Vidua means divider or separator.  A widow is set apart- To be a widow is pure humiliation, and there is no preparation for what is the biggest most difficult and most challenging of life’s tasks.  There is a dress code that widows are forced to accept that aims to “ de-sex” the widow, and even some are required to disfigure her head by removing all her hair and is made to look ugly. They can’t even eat good food – in some cases they are allowed to eat only once a day and survive on a simple diet. In some cases she is allowed no spices, only bland food.  She has to eat before sunset. She must never sing or dance. She is to remain in seclusion and avoid all social gatherings such as weddings.  For the remainder of her life, she must remain an ascetic, even sleeping on a mat on the floor. 

Widowhood brings into its territory a number of socio-economic, emotional, and health problems. On the social front she faces a total change in her relationships. Some people act as if they are afraid the widow’s misfortune will somehow be transferred to them if they offer assistance.   A widow is shunned and ostracized as inauspicious.  She is considered as a bad omen. People perceive her very differently. There is  pure isolationionism. Loneliness is evasive. Because they don’t socialize nor eat well nor sleep comfortably, she gets ill often and dies early.

Mainly the widow’s condition gets aggravated due to a sudden stoppage of her husband’s income.  This is why microfinance could help to free them from the bondage of poverty living. 

Prayer requests for India

  1. For safety, protection, and health throughout the trip and when I get home.
  2. For God’s divine touch for me to preach His gospel in an effective way
  3. For gratitude for this opportunity that he provided me through you all.
  4. For Sandy, my travelling companion, and her arm to heal totally with no more pain.
  5. For doors to open for micro – finance to help some women start businesses.
  6. For me to not  be affected by the vision or smell  of the poverty  with no judgement of the people’s cultural way of caste system
  7. For God to lead, and me to follow
  8. For friends at home who are suffering with life defining situations i.e. Shirley trying to find housing for Sister Sue, living with Stage 4 Cancer, and Maria whose husband is still in coma from the medicine to avoid a stroke and for all the others I know who need your touch Lord.
  9. For those who don’t pray often, reading this request, to not discard the list but to send good wishes and good thoughts- for these things. This does help. Of course asking God to intervene is best.
  10. For miracles to occur for healing in the hearts of the widows and those with HIV to know they matter to God and that we are all equal in His eyes so hope is available to rise above the stigma. 
  11. Pray that I stay in the Word and meditate on God’s teachings throughout the time I am in Africa and upon my return.
  12. Pray that my body will stop screaming when I want something to eat, or want hot water or some other comfort. Let me walk in the spirit with strength and rise above my cravings. It seems there is always a time of adjustment once I arrive overseas. Let this adjustment be short as I remember to Praise Him for this time to serve.
  13. Pray that I may flow daily in the Love of God, having compassion and giving mercy to those around me who aren’t doing it “right” but are just trying to do the best they can. I pray for compassion and love TO GUIDE MY INTERACTIONS.
  14. Pray that my HIV preventions be impactful and fruitful; that many may come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And please pray that during the pastors’ conferences all are blessed to hear my testimony and to learn what actions can be taken.
  15. Pray that my home and pets and friends be kept safe and enjoy their time together.
  16. Pray that the funds raised will grow abundantly and multiply to meet the needs we see daily.
  17. Pray for relationships  that they grow in love and faith in Christ and that I serve as a good friend looking to see what I can give and not get.
  18. Pray that I enjoy each day, giving thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to teach and preach, and may those who listen have open hearts to be touched and changed by something we share.
  19. Pray for health and strength and stamina for myself and all the team members so our service for the glory of God will not be stopped.
  20. Pray that I truly approach my tasks overseas with humility and a willingness to hear God’s voice; leaning not on my own understanding.
We trust you hear us, Oh Lord, and that we are acting according to Your will and we give You all the glory and honor for successes. Thank You in advance for victory over the enemy in every area because we have said, “…Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We love you Lord. Thank you!

See my new card and new ministry name.  I love the logo created by Pro-Advantage
Thank you Paul!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wycliffe Fact Sheet - Please Review

My travelling companion and her husband have worked in India for two terms ( 2.5 yrs) with Wycliffe. I will speak at a conference at their campus in Dehradun India in two weeks. Here are their stats.  

Please click this link to download the Wycliffe Face Sheet

Thanks for all , 
Kathi

Friday, May 15, 2015

What's It Like To Prepare To Go To India

What’s going on for me as I prepare to go…..?

What it’s like to get ready to go to India for three weeks- for my first time!

Just found out I can only check 32 pounds on the airline within India. So I am sorting out and choosing carefully what gifts not to take, and which clothes I can’t re-wear 10 times.  It’s a challenge for me who likes to have lots of stuff with me.  Not this time.

I am controlling my emotions:  Exuberance, fear, anticipation, expectations, and feelings of gratitude. I pray a lot more lately, realizing that I need God to be in control, and not figure things out on my own.

My travelling partner has had a set back with a bone growing back the wrong way (from her motorcycle accident when she put up her arms to protect her face) so she has had pain and we keep her in prayer. Also she hasn’t had time to raise money so I will share what little I have to help cover her costs. This means I won’t have much for Micro Finance, but God knows who needs what and I have two more weeks before I leave. We’ll see what more comes in.

I am finishing my house prep for being gone with a house sitter (girlfriend Jen came to my rescue) and the pets going to two different houses to be loved on while I am gone. This is so important to me to know my babies are safe and happy. Many thanks to Terri and John for taking my pets.

I listened to a three hour webinar yesterday on how to create interesting oral presentations (sermons). It was very helpful and I am excited to do the necessary prep work to plan to speak to large groups of HIV+ persons and widows. 

Lastly I want to keep the blog email list up to date. So if you aren’t able to access the blog through Kathiwinter.com - please do let me know.  I have to learn yet how to upload photos but Paul, the man who designed the website, gave me a pictorial to teach me how.  I hate being technologically challenged.

I am excited that friends Jerry and Brenda will be loaning me a video camera so hope to come home with good photos to share with you all.

I   promised not to make these blogs too long- so let me know what you want to hear about. I need your prayers for peace and comfort in the Lord. Thank you for being in my life.


Love Kathi

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Women's Abuse

It has been said, “The oppression of women and girls is the most critical moral challenge of our time (Sheryl Wu Dunn, Pulitzer Prize winner).

It’s been 35 years since the UN adopted the equal rights law (CEDAW).  Yet women and girls in communities least reached by the gospel, suffer injustice i.e. rape, child bride, prostitution, genocide.

 It is like wholesale abuse and exploitation is in effect worldwide.

Women not know they are equal in God’s eye to boys.  We must equip them to participate within the whole gospel.  We are a global church and we can work to empower rescue and restore women and girls from exploitation.

Fact: 2010 survey UNICEO study of sub Sab-Saharan women ages 15-21 are EIGHT TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE HIV+.

CHILD MARRIAGES- A form of modern day slavery, occurred for 14.2 million girls yearly.  It halts their education; deprives them of childhood, and they suffer injuries. Sex is a result of demand, not love.

Poverty and fear is what parents many of the children under age. If man does not demand a dowry, it’s a time of gratitude to the men. He can have her.

Solution is to equip with income, generating skills and the good news of the gospel.
There is an organization called “She is Safe” which brings women out of trafficking, puts them in small groups, called transformational groups (there is safety in number).  The women meet weekly to learn new skills and literacy, read the bible and learn nutrition and health, plus study business investment in a “common loan fund.”

Exploitation at its highest is through trafficking- 98% of the women become sex slaves.

In India, an average age girl becomes a sex worker between 9-12 years old in Delhi for example.  The National Human Rights commission in India reported that the sex trafficking industry is over 4 billion dollars.   The efforts of the police are poor.  I am preparing to see the most difficult of situations in India this June, and I ask for your prayers. Jesus can give these women dignity. We are a Global church; we must take the journey of justice.  Through Christ, the girls can learn of their royal identity and purpose.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ministering to a Friend with HIV/AIDS

When some one you know finds out they are HIV+ or have AIDS, you may feel inadequate to help.  But at this crisis moment of their lives, they need you more than ever.  Here are some suggested guidelines on how to encourage your friend:

Stop-by for a visit.  Make sure you ask if it is okay to come by.  He or She may not feel up to a visit that day, but you can always visit on another occasion.  Now is the time when your friendship can help keep loneliness and fear at a distance.

Make sure you do not avoid your friend.  Be there because it instills hope.  Be the friend, the loved one, you have always been, especially now when it is most important.

Express true love and compassion.  A simple squeeze of the hand or a genuine hug can let him or her know you really care.

Be a true friend.  Weep with your friend when he or she weeps.  Laugh when they laugh.  It is healthy to share these intimate experiences.

Don’t be afraid to share the joy of knowing Jesus with your friend, but don’t be overbearing.  Don’t demand immediate spiritual maturity, and full understanding.  Remember you didn’t get where you are in a day.  On some occasions, the best witness is a simple prayer or kindness.  Encourage them to know Jesus loves them.

Pray and know that God can heal, even the most difficult sickness.  It’s okay, when praying with your friend, to give him hope by asking God to manifest His healing power.  However, don’t make your friend feel guilty if healing doe not take place.  Jesus is the healer, and he died to make us whole/healthy.

Call and say you would like to bring a favorite meal.  Ask what time and day would best for your visit, and plan on spending the time to share the meal.

Invite your friend or family member to go for a walk or outing, but be sensitive to any limitations.

Offer to help answer any correspondence or help pay bills.

 Ask about their medications- are they taking them daily, without missing any dosages?  Do they need healthier food to take the pills with? 

Ask about their support system.  Who helps them when they are most in need? Do they have a Pastor, family member, neighbor who can help them quickly if something is urgent?  Listen for ways you can assist in the future.

Last but not least, help them start a support group.  – loving attentive friends and colleagues who will listen and help make recommendations on where they can get help. Many minds are need to solve the everyday problems of one living with HIV/AIDS.  You are making a big difference to care and ask questions.            

Call your friend and find out if anything is needed from the store.  Ask for a shopping list and make a delivery to you friend’s house.

Celebrate holidays, if possible, with your friend by decorating their home or hospital room.  Bring flowers or special treasures, or include your friend in your holiday festivities at home.

Stay in contact, when possible, with your friend’s family.  Family members are affected by HIV and AIDS too.  They may have unique needs along the way as well.

Go Shopping and bless your friend.  Buy them a special treat.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something thoughtful.

Be creative.  Bring books, periodicals, taped music, a video, some home baked-cookies or delicacies to share.

Don’t give-up!  You may feel inadequate or apprehensive, and it’s very natural to feel like you don’t have all the answers.  Just remember you don’t.  Ask God for wisdom.

It’s okay to ask ,”How are you feeling today?”  But remember be sensitive to whether or not your friend wants to discuss it.

Like everyone else, a person with AIDS can have good and bad days.  On the bad days treat your friend with extra care and compassion.


Can you drive?  Take your friend to the store, or to the bank, the physician, church, shopping, or a movie.  How about a ride to the beach or a park?
Share outside information.  Keep your friend up-to-date on mutual friends and other common interests.  Your friend may be tired of talking about symptoms, doctors, and treatment.

Discuss current events.  What’s new in the news?  Help keep your friend from feeling the world is passing them by.

Volunteer to do household chores-perhaps do the laundry, wash dishes, water plants, feed and walk the pets.  This may be appreciated more than you realize.  However, don’t do what you friend can do and wants to do for himself.

Be careful not to lecture anger at your friend if he or she seems to be handling the illness in a way that you think is inappropriate.  You may not understand what the feelings are and why certain choices are being made.

Do not confuse acceptance of the illness with defeat.  Sometimes acceptance may free your friend to accept God’s better plan for his or her life.

Don’t allow you friend to become isolated.  Let him or her know about support and prayer groups, Bible studies, and other practical services offered by church, ministry, and He Intends Victory.

Talk about the future with your friend…tomorrow, next week, and next year.  It is good to look toward the future without denying the reality of today.

Share with your pastor and Christian friends your own feelings of grief, helplessness, and inadequacy.  Getting the emotional and spiritual support you need will help you to “be there” for the person who has AIDS.

Confidentiality is of the utmost importance!  Don’t share anything with anyone you are not at liberty to share with.

And remember to pray again-for your friend or family member, for their family members, and that God would use you as a messenger of love and salvation through Jesus Christ!

 Read to you friend.  Sometimes, reading becomes difficult.  We suggest the Bible, and of course, our book, He Intends Victory.

Be prepared for your friends to get angry with you for “no reason,” although it seems it seems you have been there and done everything you could.  Remember, anger and frustration is often taken out on people most loved because it is safe and will be understood.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

BETRAYAL AND FORGIVENESS

COSTA MESA, CA (ANS) – Kathi Winter is an American business woman who has experienced both betrayal and forgiveness and now she is dedicating her life to helping others who, like herself, are HIV-positive.
She has traveled all over Africa and also to China on her unique mission to bring the message of Christ’s forgiveness especially to children and women who feel betrayed by those who gave them the deadly virus.
And she should know because she was given HIV by a man who she trusted.
Days after returning from another trip this time to Congo and Uganda, Kathi, who has been a successful business woman for 32 years and is a committed believer in Jesus Christ, agreed to share her dramatic story.
She began by saying, “I was born in Northern California to a white, upper middle-class family with strict religious beliefs and was taught reverence for God and to obey and never question a priest—or any man, for that matter,” said Kathi. “Our family life revolved around my father who spent most of his time at work training super-star athletes. My mother was a Sorbonne-educated alcoholic, a condition my father chose to ignore.
“For Easter of 1995, together we planned and then hosted a huge feeding program for the homeless that was attended by 5,000 people. We both awoke that morning with flu-like symptoms. By the end of the day, we dragged home and went to bed. I got up 24 hours later feeling tired, but relatively o.k. Fred couldn’t get out of bed but refused to let me call a doctor. Three weeks later, I drove him to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California, to be tested. The doctor asked me to wait outside while he examined Fred, and when he called me in for the verdict, he told me that Fred had AIDS and he was likely to die in three days.
Kathi said that HIV is a disease of brokenness – of the heart, the spirit, the mind, and the body.
“Christianity demands that we help heal the entire person, not just the physical part,” she said. “For the three years after my diagnosis and of caring for Fred, I sought help and, looked for a way to get over the pain in my heart. The only place I could find counseling was in a gay and lesbian center that had state funding to provide it without charge. My church pastor told me he was sorry to hear my bad news, but never again did he address the issue, and in his own way he asked me to stay quiet about it, not wanting to ‘upset the congregation.’
Kathi Winter says that being sick is not a sin and she said she learned this lesson from Kay Warren, wife of Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California, when she was asked to lead their HIV support group.
“I believe God sent me Evelyn Komuntale, a beautiful young woman from Africa, who prayed and cried with me for many months while I was healing,” said Kathi. “It really was she who taught me to trust God again. Also, through her, I came to know and love Africa. I now have traveled to Uganda over 12 times to help set into motion Outreach to Africa, a nonprofit corporation that ministers to, and supports children and families who have been infected with or are affected by the AIDS virus. Outreach to Africa holds major HIV Education Conferences in Uganda and is currently building schools and clinics throughout the country.
Another friend who has helped Kathi is Pastor Bruce Sonnenberg of the Village Church of Irvine, California, who is the President/Executive Director of He Intends Victory, a group within the church that sends educators to its world-wide chapters offering personal testimonies and teaching others that they need to know the Lord in order to survive.
Kathi went on to say, “Part of my purpose in telling my story is to expose the myths of HIV and give others an idea of my heart and how easy it was for a newly divorced, middle-class white woman who had had sexual relations with only a very few people to contract HIV. I used to believe that it was for someone else. I used to believe that nothing bad would ever happen to me. I used to believe that there would be no repercussions for my behavior. Now that I know I was wrong, my desire is to break into the false thinking that led me to the behavior that gave me the virus and trust that by telling my story, untold numbers of others will be enlightened and learn the truth.
Note: Kathi Winter’s story will be featured in the 14th edition of “He Intends Victory” which was written by Dan Wooding.


“Taking my cue from him, I began what became a course of denial that led to my looking at life through rose-colored glasses. The tragedy is how that caused me eventually to blindly make certain decisions that will affect me the rest of my life.”
Kathi went on to say, “Life is all about choices and, without blaming anyone but myself, given my family history, I wasn’t prepared to make the right ones. But what I have learned from my mistakes is what compels me to tell my story. We’ve all been told that ‘Love conquers all.’ Actually, truth does. And therein lies my mission: through education to help lead people to understand the truth about HIV/AIDS. In the mid ‘90s the disease was still very scary and people thought it was contagious. Even today, some look down on and have negative opinions about those who are living with the disease. Hosea 4:6, tells us, ‘We will perish but for lack of knowledge.’”

Kathi says that she always had a deep compassion for homeless people and some years ago, a Christmas; she went to a Homeless Shelter to bring dinner to needy families.








My Heart has always been with Homeless People 
“At first sight, I fell in love with a young man who was managing the Shelter when he testified that God had delivered him from ten years of drug addiction in one day,” she said. “He loved Jesus and had the light of God all over him. Shortly after our working together, he fell in love with me, too, and for seven months I was ecstatic. Even though he had been an I.V. drug user, Fred wouldn’t get tested for HIV. ‘I’m not sick and don’t need to,’ he told me. This should have been a red flag, but being prone to denial, it was all I needed to hear.
“But seven months later, when he moved temporarily to the East coast, I decided I should get tested. I did and was told I was negative. What a relief! In my mind, that meant that neither he nor I was infected with the dreaded disease. We kept in touch and two years later, he returned to Southern California and we resumed our relationship and our work with the homeless.
“He also told me that I needed to be tested, and when I explained that I had already done that, he said, ‘Just because you had one test doesn’t mean that you don’t need another.’ Two weeks later, I was given the diagnosis that I was HIV positive. The fear that overcame me was inexplicable. Not for myself, but because the man of my life was going to die, the very man who, after my two failed marriages, had taken my heart to a new level of trust. I forgot about my own health and hoped the prognosis for him was wrong. It turned out that it was and for the next three years I took care of Fred: that is how much I loved him.”
Kathi said that probably the worst day of her life was when Fred revealed to her that he had been told in 1989 that he was HIV positive, but that he didn’t accept it, and never believed he would give it to anyone.
“On hearing this, I was so angry I wanted to kill him,” she said. “True, he was the man who helped me accept the Lord and brought me into my wonderful relationship with Jesus. But now he turned out to be a man who didn’t protect or care for me more than he cared for his own desire to be with me. I felt totally abandoned by family and friends. But more than that, I felt that God had betrayed me. I asked myself, ‘Where is God in all this?’ Why hadn’t He protected me? Where was God when I was making poor judgments? Well, now I know He was with me all along, letting me have my free will and now letting me receive the consequences. God loves us that much that He gives us free will to do what we want. But we do reap what we sow.
“With God’s help, I found the proper spirit to listen to Fred’s apologies and take in his repentance, forgive him, and actually maintain a friendship with him. (It took me much longer to forgive myself). HIV could have ruined my love of God or turned me into a bitter, angry person. I thank God that it did not. But there is no question that the whole experience has kept me from trusting men again and it’s been thirteen years. I pray that I can one day trust them as I now trust God.”
HIV Is a Disease of Brokenness 
“Churches have been so quiet for the past 25 years about this disease, out of ignorance. It is not curable, but it is preventable. It is heartening that more and more public and private groups are taking the lead in sponsoring educational HIV/AIDS programs. And increasingly, some churches are joining them. But more are needed. This devastating disease will continue to spread and there is a major role for more churches to play. They must wake up and talk openly about sexually transmitted disease.
“The painful rejection that I felt from the church could have kept me from God for the rest of my life, but the Holy Spirit pulled me in deeper to depend more and more on His guidance to repair my broken spirit and mind. It is the role of our Christian Church to love and accept everyone, as Christ did. I know God loves me and accepts me. He is my best friend. His grace and mercy are what have pulled me through. And while my teaching is directed toward preventing women from making the mistakes that I did, I also pray that reading my story will lead those who are infected to recognize that their faith can see them through.”
Being Sick is Not a Sin 
“Kay helped me to understand that we must separate the label of ‘sinner’ from the disease and know that all God calls on us to do is love people who are sick and pray for their healing, not to judge them with labels,” she said. “Speaking as a ‘positive woman,’ I stand with Saddleback in declaring that the stigma and shame can be stopped at the church level. I knew that I had to fight the battle and win it—and fighting back against the disease and being a speaker for truth and God’s love is the mission to which I am devoting my life.”
In 2005, Kathi formed B.E. HIV Ministries, (Believing Education for HIV) to help local churches better understand the true facts about the virus, and through it she says she will continue her life’s mission throughout the world.
Outreach to Africa 
“I will be forever grateful to Evelyn for her continuing nonjudgmental support, as I am to Christ for his mercy and forgiving grace.
He Intends Victory 
“My real saving grace was finding the support group in He Intends Victory,” said Kathi. “This gave me great healing and love and closeness with other Christians living with the disease. I thank God for Pastor Bruce. I love this ministry and thank God from the bottom of my heart for the hope it has given me. What a blessing to finally find a God-centered support group where my pain and loneliness could be healed.”
Lessons to be learned 
“God prunes us to make us more in His image. The pruning hurts, the lessons are hard to learn and humbling, but the end result for me is that I am depending more on Him for everything. This is the answer—the way to get through having HIV. Trust God for everything.”
You can contact Kathi Winter by e-mail at kathi@globalinc.net. He Intends Victory’s website is http://www.heintendsvictory.com and Outreach to Africa’s website is:http://www.outreachtoafrica.org.

WINTER ADDRESSES HIV/AIDS ISSUES WITH LEE COMMUNITY

She’s traveled the world. She’s run her own business for over 30 years. She’s spoken to thousands about understanding HIV/AIDS.
Winter has traveled the world over addressing HIV/AIDS issue with thousands of people, using her personal experience with the disease.
Kathi Winter has been industrious and by many standards successful throughout the course of her lifetime. She’s also HIV positive.
Her personal experience gives her a reliable ground for talking to people about the issues surrounding HIV. She is a face of the disease, and she said her experience helps to humanize those who might otherwise suffer from a negative stigma.
“I think it adds a different dimension to [being infected with HIV]. It’s not so pathetic: in other words, people can live with it. People can survive,” Winter said. “It helps to be a testimony to what God can do and to success. You don’t have to just crawl in a hole and die.”
Winter spoke to the Lee community twice on Thursday, Sept. 27 — first at Dixon Center Chapel and then again that night to students in the Science and Math Complex. Winter addressed the stigmas and misconceptions related to HIV/AIDS, sharing her passion to see the church tackle the issue head-on.
“If there’s no fear, why would there be stigma?” Winter asked her audience that night. She seeks to resolve the issue and promote a better understanding all around of people who are infected.
Among the issues she addressed was the lack of understanding people have about how HIV is contracted, the difference between HIV and AIDS and the importance of testing. She also addressed how Christians need to respond to HIV/AIDS victims.
Winter shared the personal story of how she became infected from her now ex-fiance, who had lived with HIV for years before meeting her yet never revealed it. After finding out, she was isolated from friends and family. HIV has cost Winters thousands upon thousands of dollars in medication over the years as well, and she’s had to deal with the side effects of the drugs.
Yet Winter didn’t let that stop her from working hard. In addition to owning her own business, Winter is a board member of He Intends Victory and helped to found Outreach to Africa, but she doesn’t let it all go to her head.

“It’s really about the Lord for me. … It’s really about the fact that I have the joy of the Lord in my heart. And that gets me through,” Winter said.

OVERCOMING THE CONSEQUENCES OF BETRAYAL

Why do we experience shame when someone we love betrays us?  Often we want to hide the facts and we feel embarrassed when our betrayal story is told, like we should have known better.  We act as if it’s our fault it happened, and we believe deep down that we could have stopped it from happening.
Perhaps our reaction to betrayal has been one of anger, or a desire for revenge, or at least, a strong desire to get even.  We act like judges and condemn the betrayer to some form of hell by refusing to talk to or be with the person, all the while we are internalizing the pain.
Any of these responses ends up hurting us, not the betrayer. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I had to learn this over the last 18 years of living with HIV.  I was diagnosed after taking my fiancĂ© to the hospital where he was told he would die in 3 days because is was living with AIDS.  Of course, I too was told it was time to get tested. This was in 1996 and convincing my doctor to even give me the test was a challenge. But I tested positive but my main concern was my fiancĂ©.
He was the man whom I had placed all my trust in, and loved beyond belief was going to die- that’s all I could think of. Until a friend suggested that maybe “D,” as we’ll call him here, should have experienced some symptoms; he should have known. I was encouraged to confront him and the truth really hurt.
He did know,  and had been diagnosed 9 years earlier while in a shelter but he denied having it, denied he could give it to me, and just went about life, ignoring his brief encounters with the symptoms of his diagnosis  Never did I see him sick, so this news was the biggest shock of my life. It was like someone hit me with a billy club- no way did I expect this man of God (a minister in his church), and the one who had brought me to know the Lord, would selfishly disregard my health. We had begun to have sex when we got engaged and he didn’t want me to put a stop to this pleasure.  
Now I had a whole new understanding of duplicity, and betrayal. And I had to admit that I too had been in denial. D was a former drug addict, who had used dirty needles.  And if my eyes had been open, if I had listened to my friends, I would not have had unprotected sex with him. Back in the mid 90’s, the stigma of being infected was very high and the education of a white middle class business lady was minimal. Plus I had put “D” on a pedestal. I was in idol worship thinking him a reformed addict who loved me beyond anything.  Now what was I going to do with this new understanding of his character that hadn’t been transformed? His love for God had not yet helped him to renew his mind to the point of being truthful, and to tell me he would have risked losing me. 
So I wanted to kill him, if the virus didn’t. I was outraged, crushed in my spirit, questioned God’s love and wished I could disappear. I was totally humbled, and I had to listen to God, and get real with my life. What happened next? God told me, through my own inner still small voice, that I was to help take care of him. What?  I was so full of bitterness, and anger which I learned is a worse sickness than living with HIV.  I love the quote: “Why should we forgive first?” So we can be free first.”
God knew I needed time to heal emotionally and spiritually so for the next three years on and off, I would help him survive. This gave us time to repent, to get Godly counsel, and to take responsibility for my part. I was the one who went to bed with him. I believed love covers a multitude of sin. I knew having sex before marriage wasn’t God’s plan.  But I denied these truths applied to our relationship.  I never saw this coming as a consequence to our sexual behavioral. But Hosea 4:6 says, “My people will perish for lack of knowledge.”  Times have changed and there is more open discussion about STD’s and viruses.  But to heal our hearts, we have to tell our stories and bring the secrets out of the closet. I don’t want others to go through the same lessons I’ve had to learn. 
I chose to become pro-active and became a speaker in Africa sharing  that we too in America,  live with HIV and have to walk in faith. And  God is not a respecter of persons and His grace is available for everyone, worldwide, no matter what our religion or race.  God has given me the ‘grace to forgive, ‘to let go of the victim role, and to move on. But the grace I received had nothing to do with what I did because grace is unmerited favor that God distributes, and there is no way to earn it. 
Jesus’s death on the cross gave us all salvation, a new life, and much more. He died for our “transgressions, and inequities,” and that means emotionally, he healed us by His stripes.  We don’t have to suffer, to repent over and over for the same thing.  He already took all our pain.  Do you believe this?  Jesus is the only answer we need to believe in His grace and raise up our faith to declare His Word over our lives.
It’s just that simple. I made it way more complicated in the past but fact is, today, I am free.  I have no bitterness in my heart, and little to no unforgiveness.  I am careful not to pick up offenses, and I am careful about whom I trust. God is totally in charge of my life and I thank Him daily, minute by minute for guiding me to find good friends, and reconcile with family, and for my ministry to women worldwide.
I have to remember that everyone experiences betrayal in life- everyone. And everyone has full access to God’s grace to forgive provided we meet him with our faith, Read Ephesians 2:7-9. No one can or should boast about our own efforts. But I am still working on letting go of a “works mentality.”  It is a lifelong process.
It’s healing to describe one’s journey.  After 18 years of being diagnosed I still have issues- but who doesn’t?  I don’t harbor unforgiveness and my old addiction to denial is dissolved.  My road to recovery is less encumbered every day. Praise God.