Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Light for HIV Cure?

Some Danish scientists are working on a strategy to attack HIV, the AIDS-causing virus. Click here to find out the details, but the strategy boils down to releasing the virus from DNA cells. Then the virus rises to the cells' surfaces. People's immune systems may recognize the released virus and work to attack it.

Too scientific?

Let's look at it from another point of view. Let's say you have a major problem and all of your attempts to solve it aren't working.

You feel stuck.

Maybe it's time to re-look at the problem. Ask God to shine a light on it--to totally expose the good, the bad, and the ugly. Get the entire problem out in the open. Acknowledge the threat that it has on your physical and emotional health.

Now that you know what you're dealing with, you'll have a better idea of how to ask God to attack it.  

Thanks to Danish scientists and God's word revealed in the Bible, we have hope for health and healing from the effects of HIV--and life's major problems.

He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light. (Job 12:22 NIV)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spiritual Theme: Reagents for Growth

Leave it to a hospital to compare spiritual growth to the medical field. Last month's spiritual theme at Faith Alive hospital in Jos, Nigeria prompted me to look in the dictionary to learn more about a "reagent." Given the theme's associated Bible verse (see below), the definition makes sense. (Note: a reagent is a substance used to produce a chemical reaction so as to detect, measure, produce, etc., other substances.)


“For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love.” ( 2 Peter 1:5-7)

In case you're wondering, this year's overall spiritual theme is SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

“Be like newborn babies, always thirsty for the pure spiritual milk, so that by drinking it you may grow up and be saved.”  (1 Peter 2:2)

Going backward to January, here are some other monthly themes: 


“But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.”  (James 1:5)


“All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death…”  (Philippians 3:10)

I don't know about you, but I'm praying for God to give me spiritual milk and wisdom to experience the power of his resurrection. It's the suffering part that's a bit harder, but clearly part of the deal. Let's see what God will do when we humble ourselves before him, surrendering our wills to his greater will for our lives. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Which Faith Alive?

Who knew that there were so many organizations called “Faith Alive”? A quick Google search reveals a Faith Alive Christian Center, a Faith Alive Ministries, and a Faith Alive Resources, in addition to Faith Alive USA, Inc. that supports approved projects at Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria. To reduce confusion, please know that any general references to "Faith Alive" that I make in this blog are to Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Teen Mom Thanks Faith Alive Hospital

Dr. Chris Isichei, Founder and Coordinator of the Faith Alive hospital in Jos, Nigeria, shares this letter with us. 

My appreciation to Faith Alive Foundation. Firstly my appreciation goes to almighty God and also Faith Alive Foundation for what they have done for me.

Faith Alive has done so much for me: the accommodation, my computer school, through my antenatal time and also telling me the word of God through my discipleship class. Faith Alive is indeed a place where God himself is at work.

I really appreciate all the staff of Faith Alive for their care, love, and kindness. May God bless and bless you all. In Jesus, amen.

Thanks to partners like you, this lovely young woman has been living in Faith Alive’s transitional housing, attending skills-acquisition school, and receiving prenatal care for her child. Let’s see what God will do in their lives…

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Child Cured of HIV?

Did you hear the news story about a child who was cured of HIV? My friend, Dr. Art Ammann (founder of Global Strategies for HIV Prevention and clinical profession of pediatrics at University of California San Francisco), diagnosed the first case of pediatric AIDS. He shared his thoughts about the recent case and associated issues during a radio show.. Click here to listen.

I recommend Dr. Art's recently published book (Women, HIV, and the Church: In Search of Refuge) that includes a chapter (from Faith Alive: Stories of Hope and Healing from an African Doctor and His Hospital) that I wrote about Pastor Esther (renamed Pastor Rebecca for Dr. Art's book).

Maybe now he'll need to write a book titled Children, HIV, and the Cure.


Donate Medical Equipment

Imagine if you or someone you love gets a cancer diagnosis but don’t have access to treatment. Well, that’s a reality for many in Jos, Nigeria. But it doesn’t have to be. Drs. Chris and Mercy Isichei (a surgeon specializing in breast cancer treatment) recently inherited an oncology unit from a friend who died. They desperately need new or used equipment for mammography, CT scans, MRIs, and digital x-rays.

Please contact me at erika.faithalivenigeria@hotmail.com asap if you have any leads on these donated machines. (Wow, my “kindergarten-version of medical terms reminds me that I’m so not medically educated!)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Faith Alive Book Dedication with Bags of Cow

How many authors share their book dedication with a cow slaughter? Just me, as far as I know. 

The slaughter actually happened in the morning on January 9, evidenced by blood stains in the grassy playground, and freshly watered-down basketball court, at Faith Alive's Kiddies' Park. 150 black baggies (filled with pieces of fresh cow meat) sat in plastic buckets ready for staff to hand out like Christmas gifts after the dedication. 

I started the book dedication later that afternoon in Jos, Nigeria at the Faith Alive hospital by saying, "Thank you all for coming to the Faith Alive book dedication. I'm going to talk about the book, but I know what most of you are thinking--cow, cow, cow." We laughed, but I had spoken the truth. Most of the staff (and some Muslim patients who'd heard Dr. Chris Isichei's invitation that morning to share the cow meat) hadn't been paid for a few months.The hospital's main donor hadn't paid for a while, leaving many of the staff to beg and borrow from their relations and friends for food, housing, and school fee assistance. 

Given that stark reality, what message could I offer to my Nigerian family? 

"I wrote the book of true stories about the hospital and some of you so that others around the world might have hope that God redeems even the worst suffering and pain. Yet I look at you today and think that the book is for YOU. When you read these stories, remember that God is faithful, He has not forgotten you, and that He will redeem even this difficult time."

Praise God, things are now working out with the hospital's main donor. Staff are again getting paid for their hard work. 

The hospital's situation reminds me that the Faith Alive book--and its message--aren't a "happily ever after" fairy tale. Life is hard. It's especially difficult in Jos. But God has redeemed, is redeeming, and will continue to redeem our struggles. 

If you doubt that, consider that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and is ALIVE so that we, too, might live abundantly. He is risen; He is risen indeed!