There is much to celebrate in our first 20 years – HIV/AIDS losing its stigma, open doors and pulpits in churches, loyal and active volunteers, seeds germinating in young people’s lives, generous supporters around the world.
Grace & Light was formed 20 years ago, in 2003, in a revelation to our chair Mark Hopkins following the AIDS-related death of someone he regarded as a daughter.
In his address at our annual general meeting in Jos, Mark said: “thinking back 20 years, I can picture my daughter Patience Chule getting ready to die. It was a week later that God gave me, totally unprepared as I was, a blueprint for what became Grace & Light.
“The text I took for Patience’s funeral was the death of Samson. My message was that, as Samson killed more in dying than he had in life, so Patience’s death would bring more people to life in Christ than she had been able to do living. How God has turned this hope of mine into glorious reality!
Over the 20 years 548,356 have heard Grace & Light’s message to lead lives honouring God. Our volunteer teams have tested 177,303 people in 2,551 churches and another 14,121 in 110 secondary schools.
Just 3,009 have tested positive and are receiving treatment; while 39 people have subsequently died of the disease.
Of those who tested, 161,895 chose to share with their status, and joined life sharing groups when these were supported in their churches. Many made Christian commitments; 41,585 rededicated their lives to Christ and 9,460 made first commitments.
“We want more and more people to lose sight of themselves and see only Jesus and his righteousness, expressing this in multiple powerful ways in the sick society in which we live.
“The reality is that evil has become deeply entrenched in just about every nook and cranny of the nation, tragically not excluding our churches. Our Lord and his apostles warned us often enough that we need endurance and perseverance as we go against the powerful satanic world order. This is just what he has given us capacity for in the power of his Spirit.
“I call on you to sow patiently for righteousness, looking to God to rain it down and produce a bountiful harvest in his good time.”
Please pray for:
- Our ministry honours and brings glory to God
- Grace & Light’s leaders listen to God’s voice as they plan our future direction
- Church leaders and politicians adopt our message calling them to live lives that honour God in their communities.