“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.” – Dorothy Day
It’s about Hope Fr. James Cassidy’s first trip to South Africa brought him many new views of the world. One he expressed, very simply, touches the heart of many. “It was the children. More than anything else, it was the children.” According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the number of orphans in South Africa is staggering. The 1999 estimate for the number of children under age 15 who lost their mother or both parents to AIDS was 370,952. Meanwhile, the people are trying to find the hope to retain their human dignity while they buil their communities and a future. “It is so many of the people I met. It is a family: a mother and father with HIV, two living children who are infected with HIV and one child who has already died.
In the fall of 2000, Rev. James Cassidy and Pat Murphy of Minneapolis, MN, with members of a small delegation made their first trip to the townships of Cape Town, South Africa to meet Rev. Spiwo Xapile from the JL Zwane Memorial Centre, a Presbyterian community. It is the memory of praying with these people and with Reverend Spiwo and feeling the arms of God around us.” This why we join Arm in Arm across borders… be they geographic, political, social or economic. HIV/AIDS is not one person’s or country’s problem. It is a human problem with global impact, and how we respond as a people is the difference between building hope or letting it fade. “You are tempted to lose hope, but God created out of nothing. Nothingness has potential. It is out of nothing that great things come.” Reverend Spiwo Xapile