About eight months ago I delivered a message at The Well in which I presented my heart for victims of HIV and AIDS and my desire that we do more.
Sometimes we preachers don’t know if the message is getting through.
Well, one of the people in the audience that night was a young woman named Britney Fluharty. Britney told me later that she knew that she had to do something, so she did.
She prayed, she got informed, she mobilized volunteers, and even formed her own non-profit organization to minister to people living with HIV and AIDS.
She’s my hero!
I’m so amazed at what God is already doing through this courageous young woman.
Last fall Britney contacted a local clinic that provides care for people who are infected with HIV to find out what we could do to help them. Based on that conversation Britney organized a drive to collect clothing and baby supplies for The University of Florida Rainbow Center at Shands Jacksonville. The Rainbow Center is a family-centered, comprehensive health care provider for HIV-infected or exposed infants, children, adolescents, women and their families, including their partners. Affiliated with the UF Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, the center provides a full array of patient care services, including screening, counseling, medical care, medical case management, health education, nutrition and dietary evaluation, pharmacist assistance and social services.
The mission of the Rainbow Center is to enhance the quality of life of children, adolescents and families affected by HIV by providing compassionate, comprehensive care. In addition, the center strives to increase awareness and understanding of HIV through leadership, service and education, with the ultimate goal of decreasing the transmission of HIV.
Yesterday we delivered the first batch of gifts and we were so blessed by the reception we received from the staff at the Rainbow Center. They are wonderful people and we are so excited to be partnering with them.
I’m so grateful for Britney. She has already made a big impact at the Rainbow Center, but she’s just getting started. God has given her a heart–and vision–for a dynamic ministry to the people living with HIV and AIDS in Jacksonville and I can’t wait to see what God does next through my hero.