Rev. Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl, who works on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s malaria and HIV/AIDS strategy, shares what it was like to participate in Lazarus Sunday with her faith community.
Lazarus Sunday was an event that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) shared at last fall’s regional meetings. Through an interactive educational program, which included a portion of the Lazarus Effect video, many leaders from within the 65 synods (geographical areas) of the ELCA learned about the importance of accessible, affordable access to ARVs for people living with HIV, in Africa and around the world.
These educational programs stirred interest in those who participated. Many were able to take ideas about lifting up the importance of the video home with them. As the April 10 date drew closer, the ELCA website produced a “spotlight” story on Lazarus Sunday, with links to the materials and video, which ONE produced. We do know that many members accessed the website, and saw the emphasis lifted up for their use.
In my own experience, I was able to see the impact of the Lazarus Effect video on so many people as I led the educational program in many settings. The stunning reality of the critical importance of accessible, affordable ARVs taken in a prescribed protocol was brought home to people through the video and the discussion following. It was moving and motivating for viewers, and I think made a great impression on them of the importance of focusing on HIV and AIDS work for our church, or for individual congregations and members. Together we can make a difference in combating this pandemic, and restoring hope and health to millions of people.
Photo courtesy of ELCA