Thursday, May 31, 2007

True Religion is Love-in-Action



This child is just one of a million orphans in Malawi!

For over a year now, I'm been a 'man on a mission' to help save the lives of 1,000 AIDS orphans and widows in Africa, and many of you have helped me. Thank you! As Bono says: “Africa is ablaze. We are called to put out the fire!” Helping a thousand orphans affected by AIDS is a modest goal in relation to a million orphans who need help.

My particular involvement has been with CitiHope International—a non-sectarian, Christian, humanitarian relief and development agency working in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa. CitiHope Malawi is an indigenously run relief mission in Mzuzu as an extension of CitiHope International.

Malawi, Africa, is a small, land-locked, Pennsylvania-size country of 13 million bordering Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Malawi is particularly vulnerable to famine and disease, and suffers disproportionately from extreme poverty and AIDS. Currently, AIDS infects 15% of the population and accounts for over 85,000 deaths per year, leaving 950,000 AIDS –affected orphans.

CitiHope’s mission in Malawi is to bring help and raise hope by supplying nutritional meals to orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children and their extended families; delivering life-saving medicine to hospitals and rural clinics; and providing Pastoral and Congregational Care Training (PACCT) in AIDS prevention and compassionate care in communities and congregations suffering from AIDS.

In 2006-2007, CitiHope International and its ministry partners
• provided over a million nutritional meals to 3,000 orphans in 9 orphan care centers
• delivered $2 million dollars of medicine and medical supplies to 17 hospitals, 7 schools, and 5 prisons
• supported 38 community-based organizations who feed and care for over 12,000 persons at least one meal a day for the year
• trained and equipped 60 pastors and community leaders (20 men and 40 women) in dealing with the social and spiritual issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in their churches
• Identified and funded two HopeHomes for AIDS orphans

“True religion pleasing to God is this," according to the brother of Jesus: "caring for orphans and widows in their distress, and keeping oneself from being contaminated by the values of the world.” (James 1:27)

I'm a man on a mission in Malawi, and I still need help. Join me and the team at CitiHope as we seek to save 35,000 kids from malnutrition and help them stay in school and find the hope thay need to live well in body, soul and spirit.

As John Wesley said: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”