Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Secret No Woman Should Keep

Native Americans believe the soul journeys south after death, thus the meaning behind the term “going south.” Outlaws using the phrase might mean that they plan to disappear into Texas or Mexico; it denotes the idea of journeying into a place where one might disappear. Perhaps going south represents a mixture of longing and succumbing, of giving up on this present life for a life less complicated; the death of an old life in exchange for the possibilities that lay ahead in an unknown landscape; a longing for anonymity.

But there is a shadow that is going south as we speak. It is a shadow that stigmatizes and wrecks this present life, leaving in its wake an uncertain landscape. It is the shadow of AIDS stretching from Washington D.C. to the Mississippi Delta and into the Southeast.

The research triangle in North Carolina contains the highest number of Ph.D's per capita in the US and is the biggest research park in the world. One would think that with all of that super brain power here in the Carolinas, we would enjoy a built-in immunity from this creeping death. Instead, we’re facing the news that we have the highest rising demographic to hit this nation since the plagues. North Carolina alone is believed to have over 35,000 people living with AIDS.

The Secret Angels Project was established by a group of local Christian moms who organized a gift giving campaign every Christmas for local children and teens affected by AIDS/HIV. We believed that because of the optimism of drug treatments that in a few short years AIDS would be a myth in America. We still remember when we talked about the near future, how we dreamed of when the Project could leave the Carolinas and head for Africa. Instead, our gift giving drive had to take on new complex facets. With over one million people now diagnosed with AIDS in America and over half a million having died from it, the Secret Angels Project has become a charitable organization, still very driven by moms, that offers crisis and domestic support to southern women, children, and teens affected by AIDS. There’s one thing that we want women to know—AIDS should not be a woman’s best kept secret.

If you would like to sponsor a child, teen, or mom for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can visit our website, check out the resources page, and bless an angel for the holidays.
“’For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her.’”
Jer. 30:17