Christianity Is The Greatest Outreach To The AIDS Tragedy

By: Amanda Mattingly 0 Comments   10/11/2011

Huddled in the corner of a damped, dusty street, a little boy cowers against a big brickwall. He is covered in dirt that can only be seen by the dim light shining from a slim lamp post at the end of the street.

His deep brown eyes look forward to see that he truly is alone as he squeezes his eyes shut in hopes to fall quickly and safely asleep. Alone, shivering in the cold, he manages to drift away and awakes the next morning for another day of lonely survival.

As a typical daily routine, many children are left alone and orphaned in streets of poverty merely surviving day after day. This becomes the norm for many who have fallen victim to the tragedy of AIDS.

The greatest effects are showing in the center of the epidemic throughout the borders of Africa, snatching lives from country to country. Leaving children abandoned as their parents fall prey to the disease, many orphaned children are left to take care of themselves at an early age, and the life expectancy is decreasing, according to Global Issues.

Children may have to take care of parents who are infected, causing them to no longer have the ability to attend school. Parents cannot work in order to provide for their children. Many young boys and girls either die or become orphaned in Africa. Poverty plays a large factor in these circumstances and prompts the need for care and support.

Serving as a world-wide epidemic, those affected by AIDS are in need of assistance. In America, approximately 56,300 become infected with HIV and over 18,000 people die from AIDS each year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The statistics show increasing numbers and the epidemic is still very much existent; however, hope still arises. Although the pathway may seem dark, a light is still evident.

Even with the numerous government organizations making an effort to aid in these circumstances, those in the Christian community are also making an exceedingly great difference. Pastor Rick Warren recently traveled to Africa to take part in reaching out and helping those affected by AIDS. He also recognizes the efforts Christian communities were making to help those affected throughout Africa.

“...We witnessed Christ-followers by the thousands opening their hearts, their homes, their wallets and their churches to fellow human beings in their suffering,” said Rick Warren in a CNN special. “Clearly, local churches were at the fore front of this battle in Africa.”

Christian workers are serving on the front lines mending to the sick, the orphaned and the broken-hearted. They serve as a model to others both in Africa and in the U.S. of the right response to this calamity of AIDS.

As shown in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep one self from being polluted by the world.” God gives his intention for how his people should react to those who in need.

The Christian response shown in Africa has shown the very picture of what God requests in this passage; they are not only reaching the physical needs but also reflecting God’s love for them through their care and support. Instead of resembling the typical reaction to flee, Christians are showing a greater love and acceptance the way God does and intended for his people.

Warren was encouraged by his experience in Africa and shares in his special to CNN that he was prompted to tell his church of what he saw. He challenged his own church members to get involved in supporting those involved, and he saw an open and eager response from his congregation.

There are 33.4 million living with HIV in Africa along with the increasing 2 million deaths. In 2008, the amount of infections seen in children began to rise asapproximately over 90 percent of new HIV infections were seen to be among children, UN AIDS reports.

Instead of looking at the increased numbers and saddening statistics as discouragement, Christians around the world are choosing to act on the hope God provides. Just as Paul states in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

By God’s power and strength alone, those affected and infected by AIDS can find hope, peace and love. These communities continue to reach out in new ways to minister to those in need not only in America but also throughout the world. They are living out their faith that God can do anything.

The reason that Christianity is the greatest outreach to AIDS is because of the transformational power of being born against, in which the renewing of our minds results in a motivation to help the needy that is unlike anything this world can even comprehend. 

The power of the gospel is alive and actively being lived out in the thousands that are giving their lives to save the lives of those infected with AIDS.  

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