It was during a visit in September 2004 when God put this 'second call' in our hearts. It was in connection with the tragedy of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The numbers a tragic: Over 30% of HIV infected people worldwide live in the southern part of the African continent. About ¼ of the 2,12 million Basotho are HIV positive. A dozen people die daily as a result of immune deficiency, which is 1% of Lesotho's population over the timespan of 1 year. Lesotho has the highest rate per capita of AIDS orphans. About 150'000 children grow up without parents. While some of them find shelter with relavtives or friends, others grow up in children households and have to take care of themselves and their siblings.
There are only two kinds of people in Lesotho: Those infected by HIV/AIDS and those affected by it. When we first heared the numberes we where horrified, but those were just numbers. Until... ...I was about to say good-bye on the last day of my visit at the AIDS office in Losotho's capital Maseru. I stood across from Joseph Thamae, pastor and leader of the AIDS program at the time. I was unable to find the words and a heavy burden started to overwhelm me. I stood there and started to cry. Joseph started to cry as well. There we stood in a small room, crying about this tremendous affliction. We started to pray: "Lord, if you have any plans to face this affliction, show them to us and lead our steps in the right direction."