Thursday, March 12, 2009

A space of our own

I have received some emails inquiring about how things are at Disciples Center. The best answer I have is, “I’ll let you know when I get there”.

I actually don’t work for Disciples Home Missions, I’m the ‘Volunteer Director’. Now with a little play on words you can figure out that I volunteer as the Director and I occasionally direct Volunteers.

I actually live in Terre Haute, Indiana. Terre Haute is about 1 hour west of Indianapolis on the Indiana/Illinois line. I co-founded a community based organization called Wabash Valley People Attempting To Help, Inc. or PATH for short. I love acronyms! Ask any of my friends.

The mission of Wabash Valley PATH is to provide prevention and educational services to increase awareness and reduce the transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections. PATH covers Region 8 of Indiana including Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo counties. We are the only outreach organization in this area. We started about a year ago, just my partner and I in the kitchen discussing the number of new HIV infections in our area and we agreed that something needed to be done about it and the next thing you know I was trying to figure out an acronym for it ;)

We started out on a shoestring budget with a donation from our local (not defunct) AIDS Task Force. Those first few months it was like pulling teeth trying to get someone to let us do prevention classes… now we have a hard time finding enough volunteer educators to cover the classes we have scheduled.

I eventually heard about the HIV/AIDS Ministry Network at Disciples Home Missions and I contacted Kaye Edwards to see what support the Network could provide for us. Kaye told me that due to funding cuts and other issues the Network was in need of some revival and I volunteered to help out…. The rest as they say, is history.

Today was a banner day for us at PATH and the HIV/AIDS Ministry Network. After working out of a guest bedroom in our home for nearly a year, we moved into our own space. Thanks to some hard fundraising efforts PATH is very fortunate to be able to lease (at a very low price) space from the Terre Haute Housing Authority and as we say around here, what’s good for PATH is good for the HIV/AIDS Ministry Network. We have 3 offices and a large conference center which can be used for support groups and educational meetings. If you’re ever in the Terre Haute, Indiana area, drop by and see us!

As soon as we get things all arranged I’ll post some pictures for you to see. Please continue to pray for us as the Spirit helps us find paths to healing, wholeness, and abundant life.



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