A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, November 24, 2008

The World Vision Experience: AIDS - December 1 - 7

Our Miami Valley District (West Ohio Conference) District Superintendent, Rev. Duane Anders has taken the lead in helping to stop the terrible disease of HIV/AIDS in our country and around the world, particularly in Africa.

His church, Stillwater UMC, 6911 Frederick Pike, which is also the location of our district office, will be hosting The World Vision Experience: AIDS, December 1 through 7. (December 1 is HIV/AIDS National Awareness Day.) The available times to walk through the exhibit vary, but are basically from mid morning through the evening on each of these days. This website will walk you through securing a free ticket to the exhibit (recommended, not required.)

Please allow 20-30 minutes to go through the World Vision Experience. There are as many as 40 open spots for every 30-minute time slot. Once you've selected the date and time of your experience, please confirm there are enough spaces available for you and your group (see the "tickets remaining" box). Then enter the number of tickets desired, your first name, last name, and e-mail address. Shortly after you've reserved your tickets, we'll send you an e-mail confirmation with your reservation details.

The exhibit is a 3,000 square foot interactive exhibit that invites visitors to "step into Africa" by hearing, seeing and walking through an African village to personally experience the lives of children affected by AIDS. The stirring audio tour and captivating photography will transport you into the life of an African child and give you a new perspective on the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.

Pastor Rick and I will be volunteering at the exhibit and hope that many of our members take the opportunity to experience this educational experience. Helping to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS was one of the sermons that was preached at our church this past August as part of our "What Breaks God's Heart" sermon series.

Below is some information regarding the HIV/AIDS crisis provided by our District Superintendent:

A global pandemic
Nearly 33 million people live with HIV.
Last year alone, more than 2.5 million people were infected.
6,000 people die every day because of AIDS.
. . . another person dies every 15 seconds.
Source: AIDS Epidemic Update, UNAIDS, December 2006

AIDS in Africa
Two-thirds of all people living with HIV are in Africa.
Two-thirds of all new HIV infections are in Africa.
Three-quarters of all AIDS-related deaths are in Africa... in a place that's home to just over one-tenth of the world's population.
Source: AIDS Epidemic Update, UNAIDS, December 2007

Children and AIDS
Approximately 2.5 million children worldwide have HIV.
Right now, there are more than 15 million children who have lost one or both parents because of AIDS.
Every day, another 6,000 children are orphaned due to AIDS.
. . . and most of these children live in Africa.
Sources: AIDS Epidemic Update, UNAIDS, December 2006; Africa's Orphaned and Vulnerable Generations, UNICEF, August 2006; UNAIDS, 2002.

The future of AIDS
By 2010, more than 20 million children will be orphaned due to AIDS.
By 2020, AIDS could kill up to 12 percent of Africa's workforce - as many as 58 million people.
. . . this crisis will not go away by itself.
Sources: UNICEF, August 2006; International Labour Organization, November 2006

World Vision's response
770,000 children in Africa received values-based HIV-prevention training in 2006 alone.
615,000 orphaned and vulnerable children received care and assistance.
11,000 church leaders were mobilized to respond to the AIDS crisis.
. . . World Vision has been on the front lines of the AIDS crisis in Africa since 1990.


Naomi said...

It's so great that we're paying attention to this as a church and a community. I think it's clear we've come such a long way but we still have so much left to do. There is such a stigma to AIDS and even just getting the test. I feel that if we came to the issues with more compassion we could change more minds and be more effective. Afterall, it's what Jesus did.

bluesky said...

A great supporter of World Vision is AIDtoCHILDREN.com.

AIDtoCHILDREN.com is a dual-purpose site for building an English vocabulary and raising money for under privileged children in the most impoverished places around the world.

Check it out at http://www.aidtochildren.com