HIV and AIDS as a challenge to the Seventh-day adventist church in South Africa : a reflection on home-based care

Mathers, Judith Rose (2016-11-23)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study primarily concerns itself with “HIV and AIDS as challenge to the Seventh-day Adventist Church is South Africa: A reflection on Home-Based Care” to People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). On 01 December 2014, International AIDS Day, eNCA (eNews Channel Africa) released the staggering statistics which revealed that South Africa has the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world, with 6 million South African PLWHA in an estimated population of 54 million, whereas only 2.7 million of these PLWHA were receiving proper treatment and care. The Department of Health (DOH) reported that there were 1,000 new infections and more than 1,000 Aids-related deaths daily in 2014. Despite South Africa being the leading nation in HIV and AIDS research, the country has the highest rate of infections and disease-related deaths – less than half of the South African PLWHA are receiving treatment. These staggering reports of the sobering reality of the South African situation on the HIV and AIDS epidemic ought to be seen as the wakeup call to faith communities in South Africa, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Church leaders of all denominations are faced with the same challenge of their members living with HIV and AIDS and the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not spared. The Seventh-day Adventist Church must therefore become a visible, active stakeholder in making a difference in the campaign against HIV and AIDS. The primary aim of this thesis is to examine how The Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa can help bring relief to the burden of illness and suffering, poverty, helplessness and shame, and empower vulnerable PLWHA and their family members through the formulation of contextual Home-Based Care programs. The core problem of this research focuses on existing policies in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and questions the theological and ecclesiological implications for being “church” in poor communities with a lack of care facilities and health facilities. It is in this regard that the option of a Home-Based Care model surfaces. Study is given on how the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa should restructure its current policies in order to shift from a clerical model to a more community oriented model of pastoral care to PLWHA. The researcher challenges the Seventh-day Adventist Church, who claims to be the church of God on earth, to live up to the light it claims to have in regard to pastoral care, healthcare and other ministries to spiritually and physically sick people, by preparing and training their lay members as volunteers in doing Home-Based Care to PLWHA in South Africa. Despite the continued advances in the fields of science, medicine and associated professional health care services, the challenges of human diseases in epidemic proportions, more specifically HIV and AIDS, still present us with a need to care for persons, families and communities afflicted with illnesses. An urgent need exists to respond to the quest for meaning in human suffering and the restoration of human dignity before God in our approaches to ministry and therapy across the cultural divides. This research extensively expounds on the mandate of the Scriptures as the primary and pivotal calling of the church to engage in medical missionary work to PLWHA. Pastoral care strategies in a multicultural society is adequately discussed as essential for contextual ministries to the people of South Africa. The importance of sensitivity to and education in African spirituality is addressed and various theories of Professor Daniel Louw of A Pastoral Hermeneutics of Care and Encounter, A Theological Design for Basic Theory, Anthropology, Method and Therapy and Cura Vitae are presented as power tools in pastoral care should be of great help to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa in the formulation of a successful Home-Based Care ministry as a new ecclesial direction to an HIV and AIDS ministry have been cited. The culture of the gospel is one that sees the former barriers of racial divides and African cultural differences or indifferences as opportunities for spiritual healing, growth and transcendence in setting us free, and moving the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa towards truly being and becoming koinonia to PLWHA: a place where God’s grace lives. The church of God on earth in every aspect and manner of being is the place where Agape love, unconditional acceptance, healing and forgiveness, spiritual encounter, reconciliation, worship of God the Creator and eschatological hope of the Advent of Christ’s Coming bring us all, sinners and saints alike into the priesthood of believers and into unity of Community in Christ. In Christ we are all one…Father make us one!

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie gaan oor die “HIV and AIDS as challenge to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa: a reflection on Home-Based Care” (MIV en VIGS as uitdaging vir die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk: ‘n refleksie oor Tuisversorging”), die versorging van mense met MIV en VIGS. Op 1 Desember 2014, Internasionale VIGS dag het die eNCA (E-Nuus kanaal Afrika) die verbysterende statistiek vrygestel dat Suid-Afrika die ernstigste MIV en VIGS epidemie in die wêreld het, met ses miljoen Suid-Afrikaners wat daaraan ly in ’n bevolking van ’n geskatte 54 miljoen, waarvan net 2.7 miljoen die regte versorging en behandeling ontvang. Die Departement van Gesondheid wys daarop dat daar daagliks 1000 nuwe infeksies voorkom en dat meer as 1000 persone daagliks in 2014 aan VIGS-verwante siektes gesterf het. Hierdie verbysterende verslae van die realiteite van die Suid-Afrikaanse situasie en die MIV en VIGS epidemie moet gesien word as ’n dringende oproep tot die gelowiges in Suid-Afrika insluitende die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk. Kerkleiers van alle denominasies word uitgedaag omdat hulle lede aan MIV en VIGS ly, en die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk is nie ’n uitsondering nie. Die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk moet dus gesien word as aktiewe aandeelhouer wat help om ’n verskil te maak tydens die veldtog teen MIV en VIGS. Die doel met hierdie tesis is om te ondersoek hoe die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk in Suid-Afrika verligting kan bring aan diegene wat die las van siekte en lyding, armoede, hulpeloosheid,en skande dra, en die siekes en hulle gesinslede bemagtig deur die formulering van kontekstuele tuisversorgings programme. Die kernprobleem in hierdie navorsing is die bestaande beleide in die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk en die teologiese implikasies van om “kerk” te wees in arm gemeenskappe met ’n gebrek aan versorgings- en gesondheidsfasiliteite. Dit is teen hierdie agtergrond wat die Tuisversorgingsmodel geformuleer word. Die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk in Suid-Afrika moet haar huidige beleide herformuleer ten einde weg te beweeg van ’n klerikale model na ’n gemeenskap georienteerde model van versorging. Die navorser stel ’n uitdaging aan die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk wat haarself die kerk van God op aarde noem en wat in die lig hiervan haar lede as vrywilligers moet oplei om geestelike en fisiese hulp aan te bied aan siekes in Suid-Afrika. Ten spyte van vooruitgang op wetenskaplike, mediese en en ander gesondheidsdiense, bestaan die uitdaging van epidemies en veral VIGS steeds en moet daar na die persone, gesinne en gemeenskappe omgesien word. Dit is dringend nodig om te reageer op die soeke na betekenis in menslike lyding en die restorasie van menswaardigheid voor God in ons benadering tot die verkondiging van die Woord en van terapie oor kulturele verskille heen. In hierdie navorsing word daar ag geslaan op die Bybel as kern mandaat en kern roeping van die kerk om deel te neem aan mediese sendingwerk ten opsigte van VIGS lyers. Pastorale strategieë in ’n multikulturele gemeenskap word bespreek, iets wat belangrik is in die verkondiging van die Woord aan Suid-Afrikaners. Die belangrikheid van sensitief wees en bewus te wees van van spiritualiteit in Afrika word aangespreek en die verskillende teorieë van Prof. Daniel Louw soos beskryf in A Pastoral Hermeneutics of Care and Encounter, A Theological Design for Basic Theory, Anthropology, Method and Therapy and Cura Vitae word in ag geneem. Hierdie teorieë kan van hulp wees as die Sewende-dag Adventiste Kerk ’n suksesvolle tuisversorgingsmodel vir VIGS lyers wil formuleer. Die kultuur van die Evangelie is een waarin die verskille van vroeër, die verskille tussen rasse en kulture, gesien word as geleenthede vir geestelike genesing en groei, as iets wat ons vry maak. Die Sewende-dag Adventiste kerk kan waarlik koinonia vir VIGS lyers word: ’n plek waar God se genade woon. Die “Kerk van God” op aarde is in elke opsig die plek waar Agape-liefde,, onvoorwaardelike aanvaarding, genesing en vergifnis, rekonsiliasie, geestelike ontmoetings, die aanbidding van God en hoop op Sy Wederkoms gevind kan word. Ons almal, sondaars en heiliges tesame kan deel word van die priesterdom van gelowiges in die eenheid van Gemeenskap in Christus. In Christus is ons een, Vader, maak ons een!

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