Winter 2006 Rapport: AGTS News
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AGTS Goes on AIDS Safari in South Africa
a South African
students witness the plight of South Africans afflicted by
the devastating AIDS pandemic.
In June 2005, Dr. Johan Mostert, AGTS counseling professor,
led three AGTS students back to his native South Africa
on what has been called an “AIDS Safari.” The
two-week excursion allowed Nate Conrad, Eileen Deaver and
Kim Rozell to visit local churches involved in the fight
against AIDS, accompany a home-based care volunteer as
she made her rounds and work in an AIDS hospice for babies
who have been abandoned by dying parents. At the hospice,
babies are tested for AIDS, a 12-month process. If the
results are negative, they are put up for adoption.
In the wall surrounding one of the AIDS hospice centers
is a horizontal door that covers an opening into the
The instructions on the poster to the
right of the door read: “Is there life after birth?
Mothers-to-be in crisis, place your newborn baby in the ‘Door
of Hope’ anytime, day or night. We will care for
your baby.” Images at the bottom tell a mother
not to put the baby in a trash can, but to cut and tie
the umbilical cord and put the baby behind the door.
“Her name was Lizzy and she was
six weeks old,” remembers Kim Rozell. “She
was the youngest infant at the hospice and she has an amazing
story. She had been found abandoned in a black duffle bag
when she was four days old. No one knew where she came
from or how long she had been there, but she was still
wearing her hospital bracelet.
She captured my heart! I
still think about her and wonder if they have found a family
Swedish mother holds her adopted South African child.
“The particular hospice I was helping at was adopting
out one of the babies the day we visited,” said Kim, “so
I had the rare opportunity of being able to watch an adoption.
It was incredible to see the look on the new mother’s
face as she held the baby in her arms.”
visited AIDS patients with a community outreach worker” begins
“One patient, Leah, was in the final stages
of battling with AIDS. When we walked into the house, she
was lying on the dining room floor in front of a window.
She was thin and visibly weak. She did not have enough
energy to carry on a long conversation, but before we left,
we prayed with her.”
destitute mother of five, holding her grandchild, is dying
of AIDS. She wishes to finish building her home before
the rainy season begins. While the meager contents of her
home wait outside, her teenage sons are hard at work.
no income to purchase cement, they make their own clay
bricks and use only one nail in the supporting beam joints.
Unfortunately, the first heavy rains may undo all of their
Conrad, Eileen Deaver and Dr. Mostert enjoy lunch.
expresses how the trip has affected her. “Most
every day now I wear a beaded red ribbon so when people ask
about it I can tell them about the AIDS problem down here.
One in four people in South Africa is infected with HIV.
In other African countries, every other person is infected.
A million children are growing up without their parents and
one in five 15-year-olds will not live to see another year.”
Friday, May 5, 2006 9:07 AM