Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles . . . James 1:27
More than 35 million people in the world are infected with HIV/AIDS. Every day, AIDS kills 6600 people in Africa alone. Every day, 1400 innocent African newborns are infected with AIDS through childbirth or their mothers' breastmilk.
By the end of this decade, there will be 18 million orphans of AIDS in Africa.
Our most important weapon is prayer. We must pray that the Gospel will spread, and with it, the understanding of the joy of God's design for men and women. We must pray that the Gospel will spread even to the highest positions in the governments of AIDS-stricken nations, and with it, the desire to show compassion on those already afflicted. We must pray that the Gospel will spread to the farthest outposts of rural nations, where ignorance and illiteracy keep the people enslaved, and with it education -- the truth that sets people free.
But just as God has chosen to accomplish His will through our prayers, He has chosen to accomplish His will through our action, in answer to the prayers of millions of people -- the 20% of His world's population suffering in abject poverty, facing disease and starvation every day. What can YOU do? Write letters to your congressmen. Write letters to the president. Sign the ONE campaign's declaration.
But don't stop there. As the saying goes, "Put your money where your mouth is." If you believe the plight of impoverished HIV/AIDS victims to be important, why not prove it? Sponsoring a child will set you back between $20 and $40 a month -- about a dollar a day. If you can't afford that on your own, get together with friends and pitch in a dollar or two a week. Stop making excuses. Hundreds of reputable Christian organizations provide a way for you to give so you can have confidence that your money is actually getting to the place it is supposed to go. Your money will make a difference in someone's life. Just as the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the journey of a million dollars begins with a single check.
Then consider this: there are thousands of opportunities through hundreds of organizations to GO to these AIDS-affected nations and work. Ask God if this is an option for your summer next year.
I sponsor a child. His name is Mbagnick Faye, and he's from Senegal. My $30 a month provides him with food, clothing, and education. He also now has an opportunity to hear the Gospel and experience the love of Christ. I pray that someday in heaven I'll get a chance to meet Mbagnick. God willing, if I do, I think I will find that the experience is worth $30 a month.
For more information about how you can pray, give, or go, visit www.one.org, www.worldvision.org, www.data.org, or www.worldaidsday.org