Jalingo and Michika now have full strength teams equipped for vision sharing and counselling and testing following new volunteer training.
The Michika team now has 16 members and they no longer need Yola volunteers to join them on church visits. The Jalingo team has 14 members; their city is the capital of Taraba State. Remaining participants joined the existing Lafia, Yola and Jos teams.
In total, 44 new volunteers participated in the five-day training in late October in Yola. They learnt techniques for clearly communicating the gospel of grace, openness and love, as well as the biblical perspective on social righteousness.
There were lots of practical sessions about how to build relationships with local church leaders, organise vision sharing, counselling and testing, and establish life sharing support groups.
At the end of the programme participants were invited to commit to volunteering with Grace & Light for two years; all did. Finally, they joined together for outreach in a couple of local churches.
International coordinator Tassie Ghata said that what stood out for her was the change in attitudes towards people with HIV/AIDS. “Many participants come from the north and north-east of Nigeria where people don’t have much understanding of HIV and there is higher prevalence compared to the rest of the country. After training we saw a remarkable improvement in knowledge. It makes the training so worthwhile!’