Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The AIDS Experience

I met with some very cool people from First Pres. in Glen Ellyn. Steve and Jocelyn are spearheading the effort to bring World Vision's AIDS Experience to our area September 6-14. It is a very creative and impacting experiential walk through the crisis in Africa.

And make no mistake, it is a crisis. The numbers are staggering. An estimated 22 million adults and children were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of last year, 2007. During that year, an estimated 1.5 million Africans died from AIDS. The epidemic has left behind some 11.6 million orphaned African children.

Life Church is partnering with neighboring churches using the AIDS Experience to help educate people on this crisis. I'm convinced that the church really is the answer for this issue. The root problem with AIDS in Africa is ignorance. Many myths and superstitions persist that have created a climate for sexual abuse and promiscuity which has led to the crisis. At the same time, there are a great number of Africans coming to faith in Jesus. We need to treat the symptoms as well as the cause. Through proper equipping, assistance and prayer, we can make a difference.

Africa too is our neighbor (see Luke 10).