Caring for those suffering from HIV and AIDS: a pastoral study
Kubheka, Kealeboga Cecilia
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Pastoral care givers rendering services to people living with HIV face several challenges which hinder them in their mission. This study sought, using the model of Osmer, to formulate pastoral guidelines that can be used to improve the outcomes of pastoral care initiatives. The objectives of the study were to describe the challenges faced by pastoral care givers to people living with HIV, determine why they face these challenges, describe Scriptural guidelines for interacting with persons in need, paying attention to the principle of the wounded healer as portrayed by Jesus Christ and to culminated in the formulation of the pastoral guidelines. Data was collected by way of a descriptive literature study using literature from different countries and fields such as theology, sociology and medicine amongst others. The study revealed that pastoral care givers to people living with HIV and AIDS face challenges emanating from lack of knowledge, conflict between Christianity and the African Traditional Religion, proliferation of the prosperity gospel and lack of financial means to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of the distressed. Pastoral principles of Matthew 25: 34-40, Luke 10: 25-37 and James 2: 14-17 were conducted to derive the normative perspectives regarding how Christians ought to interact with those in distress, in this context, people living with HIV and AIDS. The pastoral guidelines formulated are in the form of a modified train the trainer model. The presented model is less costly to run as it allows for the training of pastoral care givers using resources already found within the church and minimum outside resources. This study is an attempt to find ways of lessening the weight of HIV on both people living with HIV and their families. This is an ongoing challenge given the number of people, especially in developing nations, infected by the virus and the Christian church has an enormous task to fulfill. Future studies related to this one can look at things such as the proportion of congregants involved in pastoral care giving and how African Traditional Religion and the Christian church can complement each other in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
- Theology