In May we had the privilege and pleasure of meeting with many of our co-workers at the AIDSLink HopeXchange 2018. This is a time when the various ministry leaders come together for a time of extra learning, fellowship and encouragement to carry on in what is often a lonely and hard ministry.
For the first time we had participants from Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka.
The training aspect focused on working amongst gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people (especially in the context of HIV and AIDS). We chose this topic because we needed a safe space in which to really dig deep into the issues. This took many of us out of our comfort zones, but it was very well received.
The focus was on creating safe, non-judgmental spaces in which the discussions around this topic can be a constructive dialogue not a polarising debate.
Another highlight was hearing how God has used team members in two countries to impact national policy (making ART treatment available in prisons in one country, and, in another, helping change policy so that people living with HIV can now be part of national sports teams).