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Showing posts from December, 2006

Christmas in Malawi

While it is cold and wintry here in the USA, it is the hot and rainy season in Malawi. From December through March, the ground is soft and broken up, new crops are planted, green leaves grow and flowers blossom. Because it rains almost everyday, flash flooding occurs from time to time, making the dirt roads in the country unreliable and food distribution difficult.

Seventy-five metric tons of USAID food aid arrived two weeks ago at our warehouse in Mzuzu, but we have not yet begun our distribution to the 40+ medical clinics, orphan care centers and social service agencies that have come to rely on CitiHope for protein-fortified supplements to their daily servings of maize. While we can’t do much about the delay, we are purchasing some basic food supplies for 30 AIDS orphans in two HopeHomes for Christmas.

A HopeHome is simply an extended family unit that receives nutritional food aid, medical assistance, and educational scholarships from external sources. It's hard enough for fam…

World AIDS Day

AIDS twenty-five years ago:

When I was an urban minister in San Francisco in 1981, I heard about a strange new form of cancer affecting gay men. The doctors called it “KS” and “GRIDS” (Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome). By 1984, HIV was identified and the disease became known as AIDS—a deadly killer.

Patient Zero was identified in New York as the first carrier of the deadly virus. In 1983, Malcolm, the first person I knew who was living with AIDS, came to my church in San Francisco. In 1986 I performed my first AIDS funeral. In 1987, one of our Sunday School kids, Joey, got AIDS and died. By 1988, the number of AIDS cases in America reported to the CDC totaled 55,000. By 1991, a year after I had left my church to became an AIDS Chaplain, the cumulative number of AIDS infections in America had reached 270,000—most of whom had or would eventually die. The disease had doubled, and would continue doubling, every 18 months.

Global AIDS 25 years later:

Here are the alarming statist…