Kay Warren helps us navigate the complex world of AIDS, what works, what doesn’t, and where we should go from here.
Kay first became aware of AIDS when she and her husband Rick Warren were in the early years of founding their church, Saddleback Church. Before that time she had a heart for the suffering in the world but didn’t really see those with HIV/AIDS to be important people to care for. She had misconceptions and misinformation. One day she picked up an article on AIDS in Africa. She read about the epidemic, saw pictures of victims and felt like she had received an electric shock.
“How did this happen and I not know it? It rocked my world.”
She didn’t know quite how she was going to help. After struggling with God she came to the realization that she could ignore the huge problem or say yes to God’s nudge and pull. Kay followed God’s leading and became an advocate for people with AIDS.
Kay encourages fellow Christians to be aware, but even before becoming aware to be willing to follow wherever God will lead them.
For churches who are looking to do something about HIV/AIDS Kay has some suggestions:
- Care for people who are sick with HIV.
- Handle HIV testing by encourage people to get tested for HIV. (She suggests individuals visit hivtest.org to find a testing center)
- Unleash volunteers to care for the sick and work to end HIV/AIDS.
- Remove the stigma against HIV positive.
“You will never find Jesus asking, ‘How did you become sick?'”
- Champion healthy behavior. We know how to prevent the spread of HIV through healthy behaviors and that’s something the church can teach.
- Help with medication be reminding HIV positive individuals on medication to take it daily at the same time.