mercredi 24 d├ęcembre 2003

"In the Name of Love"

I just got back from the Christmas Eve service at church. Wow was it ever packed :) I can't say I'd complain; I'm practically used to squishy-pewness.

I thought I'd post about something I saw on TV last night. I actually spent three hours watching MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic because I had a slight bout with insomnia, and while watching Much, they aired a program called A MuchMusic Special: Zambia. I was amazed at some of the things they presented. I'll briefly touch on them.

I know a lot of people think that the Church is doing nothing about the AIDS crisis in Africa. And sadly so, it does seem like a "sleeping giant" to the rest of the world. But you know what? This secular program talked about a Christian ministry that was actively helping people in Zambia. It's a ministry that makes low-cost caskets for people who have died of AIDS. It may not seem like much, but caskets over there apparently cost a ton, and by helping families out with these low-cost ones, they are saving the families from further financial debt. As well, this ministry employs young men to build these caskets so that they will have skill training which could help them find a job later on (the Zambian unemployment rate is 50%). So, Christians are doing something over there; they are being active.

Oh and did you know that the cost of basic drugs in Africa is $100 per month? The sad thing is that the average income for those living in Zambia is only $8 per week. There was also a correlation found between countries with high debt and AIDS. Countries with higher amounts of debt to pay often have more cases of AIDS in their population.

Another thing that the show touched on was the role of the media. Kate Greenaway of CARE Zambia said something that put things into perspective for me. She mentioned that on 9-11, 3000 Americans died. But then she brought up the statistic that every single day, 8000 Africans die of AIDS. Yet compare the attention that both have received from the media. Hardly anyone pays attention to all the people who are HIV infected and dying in Africa; however, everyone knows about the terror alerts and the fight against terrorism. Something I didn't know was that 2.3 million people died of AIDS alone in Africa last year. That would be equivalent to an entire large Canadian city being wiped out! I am so guilty of not even being aware of what's happening in the world today.

I know that the Church is far from where it should be. But I also know there are Christians that are actively doing something to combat the biggest problem this generation has to face. There was a couple that were guest speakers at my school last year, Jaco and Antoinette Fouche. They have a ministry with World Vision and they go around training and educating people about the effects of AIDS. And, there is currently a project on Sparrow Records with Artists United for Africa releasing an album entitled "In the Name of Love" where proceeds will go towards fighting AIDS.

Just thought I'd share some good things Christians are doing to help, rather than all the doom-and-gloom news about how the Church is completely absent from this. They're not. And I pray that more will continue to be done.

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