Monday, October 4, 2010

Blattners - Part I

Meet Bill Blattner (formally Dr. William A. Blattner MD), co-founder of the Institute of Human Virology and director of its Epidemiology and Prevention Division. He’s a renowned authority on AIDS and the viral epidemiology of cancer who’s focusing on Nigeria and implementing PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). Click here to read more about his impressive credentials and accomplishments.

A Baltimore Ravens fan and my host with his wife Diane last weekend, Bill first went to Faith Alive in 2002. At that time, HIV/AIDS patients there were dying because antiretroviral (ARV) medications weren't yet available to them. Amid the pain and suffering, he sensed their deep faith and pervasive hope. Patients were being healed in a way that transcended their physical bodies. He considers his first visit to Faith Alive as one of the most profound experiences in his life.

Many people go to Faith Alive and tell Dr. Chris what they think he needs to do. As a humble man, Dr. Chris accepts their suggestions and gifts. He says that if God puts something on their hearts, who is he to question it. “If it is from God, it will work. If it isn’t, we’ll see.” But people who really “get it” understand that we need what these special Nigerians have. Instead of asking,“What can we do for Faith Alive?”, they also ask, “What can we learn from them?”

Thanks to Bill for being a perceptive student. Stay tuned tomorrow to read about his compassionate wife.

(Photo of Bill standing next to a Nigerian painting in his home.)

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