“In 2008, more than 14 million children in sub-Saharan Africa had lost one or both parents due to AIDS.”
“Speak up for those who have no voice, for the rights of all who are poor. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
|From Taste of Africa Fundraiser|
On Tuesday, June 1, my wife and I who have spent 3 years serving with Hands at Work in Africa hosted, “A Taste of Africa,” a fundraising dinner and awareness event at Grace Lutheran Church in our hometown of Hibbing, MN.
We have been so challenged by what we have seen during our time here that we wanted to share stories and challenge others to take action.
We started planning an event before we left South Africa where we are working. After debating for awhile what we should do we decided on doing a traditional “African” meal. The meal consisted of chicken, mealie meal, Chakalaka, Coleslaw, and ifisashi.
After the dinner we shared a video and then a presentation about what Hands at Work and the church in Africa are doing in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. People were shocked to hear that 6000 children a day will lose a parent. The devastation we have seen throughout Africa caused by disease and poverty is immense. But the hope that churches across Africa are bringing to their communities is also astounding. Hands at Work in Africa works through local churches in communities in Africa. They find areas where HIV/AIDS infection rates are high and support structures like clinics and hospitals are low, and then challenge the church with what the Bible says about helping the poor, orphaned and widowed.
James 1:27, “Pure religion is to help the poor and widowed in their distress and keep oneself unstained by the world.” Having seen what we have seen it is impossible to stay silent. To find out more about what Hands at Work in Africa is doing to help visit www.handsatwork.org/our-response. To read more about the affects of HIV/AIDS on Africa go to www.avert.org or visit www.unaids.org.