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Carter Family Christmas 2015
Dear Friends, Family and Ministry Partners,
 
We have seen God at work in our lives and ministry these past few weeks in some pretty spectacular ways.  We would like to share some of these highlights with you.
 
Term Two Completed
Just before Easter we complete the second term at Moffat in which our students learned how to present “Adventure Unlimited”, a Biblically based life skills curriculum, to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.  They taught this curriculum to 256 students in a local school, of which 188 made decisions to follow Christ.  All were left with new perspectives on their own value as persons created in God’s image, how to handle peer pressure, and how to make wise decisions including those involving their own sexual health. 


Conferencing
The week following Easter we attended our SIM Kenya annual Spiritual Life Conference where Bob was asked to serve as conference doctor.  Fortunately, there were no major health problems this year.  From there we traveled onward to Greece to attend a medical conference conducted by the CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Associations) for Christian medical personnel serving internationally.  This conference netted us nearly 50 hours of continuing medical education credits which are needed to keep our U.S. credentials up to date.  During the daytime sessions we were updated on a wide variety of topics including current issues like the Zika virus.  During evening sessions we heard many inspiring stories of God’s work through missionary teams in other regions of the world, as well as some harsh realities concerning the human cost of such work. 
Churches for Grace
You may remember that one of Bob’s “hats” is that he directs the AIDS Ministries Department at Moffat Bible College; and that over two years ago the department began a program called “Churches for Grace”.  Its mission statement is “To transform the understanding, attitudes and practices of pastors and church leaders regarding HIV and AIDS so that the church will be God’s agent of grace for individuals, families and communities living with HIV and AIDS.”  Instead of writing our own curriculum, we chose to use one called “Churches, Channels of Hope” that was developed by the Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa (CABSA) and has been used very effectively in South Africa and other African countries for over a decade.  We both trained to be facilitators of this curriculum two years ago in South Africa, and a year later Bob returned as a trainer for CABSA when another group of facilitators was trained.  We now have six trained facilitators on our Churches for Grace (CfG) committee.
 
However, as the program expanded we found ourselves constrained by the need for additional facilitators.  But sending people to South Africa is very expensive and we wanted to train at least 12 more facilitators!  So CABSA kindly agreed to allow us to hold a training seminar here in Kijabe, with the lead trainer being their country representative in Nairobi and most of the co-trainers coming from our CfG committee, plus one experienced trainer who we could fly up from South Africa. 
The training began only two days after our return to Kenya, and instead of 12 participants God sent us 24 excellent candidates to train!  Several participants came from Western Kenya near Mount Elgon, two others came from Turkana in the northwestern desert region, and two from Meru north of Mount Kenya.  They came from as near as the truck-stop community of Maai Mahiu just 8 km away in the valley below Kijabe, and from as far away as northwestern Uganda.  Each trainee had their own story of vision, opportunities and challenges, but all came with a commitment to serve their community.  Wow! 
 
Although the week was intense and exhausting, it was highly impactful.  It was also a gamble, as we used up nearly all of our remaining project funding for this training.  But we now have 30 trained facilitators including the CfG team to help us carry this proven-effective curriculum into many new communities.  Please pray for them as they return to their places of ministry to use what they have learned.  Pray that we will be able to mentor them adequately as they implement this curriculum.  Pray for more congregations to become gatherings where people living with HIV can feel accepted and valued, and where grace and restoration can be experienced. 
Exciting Possibility for Positive Teens
Recently we were approached by a donor program that has an interest in supporting efforts to assist HIV-infected adolescents.  They had learned about our camps for “positive teens” and other youth outreach activities and encouraged us to submit a project proposal to expand our program. 
 
Last year over 1500 teenagers died in Kenya of HIV-related illnesses.  They did not die due to lack of access to medications and health care, as these are readily available almost everywhere with the assistance of donor-funded AIDS programs.  Why, then, did they die?  They died because they lost hope, lost dignity, lost self-esteem, lost their future, lost their reason to live.  Some committed suicide.  Some just stopped taking their drugs and let the disease kill them.  Most were orphans shuttled from grandparents to uncles and any other extended family member who would take them.  They died because their own families, schools, churches and communities killed them through stigma, discrimination and isolation. 
 
This has to stop.  Our vision is not only to provide psycho-social support, encouragement and mentoring for the 500+ adolescents enrolled in the hospital’s HIV clinic, but also to develop support groups for their caregivers; to provide ongoing HIV sensitization sessions for the schools and teachers where they are educated; and to equip their churches to know how to give them hope and cause them to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord.  If this grant proposal is successful, we will be able to start doing far more than just annual camps for these special young people.  We need your prayers for this effort.  Please pray for Bob as he finalizes and submits the proposal this week amidst preparations for classes that began today (Wednesday) plus his other duties with the Palliative Care unit of the hospital.  The proposal is due by April 30!
Term Three Begun
Term 3 began at Moffat this week.  In this term we teach an applied theology course, “Biblical Issues in HIV”.  Although we have always team-taught this course, this year Bob will be away from Kijabe for over half the term, doing some much needed fund raising for the community outreach ministries of the AIDS Department - including Churches for Grace - and for the Palliative Care program of Kijabe Hospital.  Please pray for Hope as she takes the lead in teaching the course this term. 
 
More travels
We will be leaving for the U.S.A. on May 19.  Hope will return to Kenya on the 30th of May while Bob remains behind to seek funding for these outreach activities.  Pray that these efforts will be successful.  (And please contact us if you or your church would like to know more about these programs and the amount of funding needed.)  Bob will return to Kenya after attending the annual meeting of Christian Connections in International Health (CCIH) at John’s Hopkins in Baltimore from June 17-19. 
Thank you for your invaluable prayers, support and words of encouragement!
Bob and Hope Carter



Contributions to support our ministry may be mailed to:  SIM USA, PO Box 7900, Charlotte, NC 28241-7900  
and designated for Bob & Hope Carter.
 
You can also donate online and select either "Support a Missionary" or "Support a Project".
Our Missionary ID # is 009892.
The "Kijabe AIDS Education and Community Development" project
ID is:  KE 92163
Thank you!
Donate On Line
Copyright © 2016 Bob and Hope Carter, All rights reserved.


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