African Leadership: Reaching Out with the Love of Christ
- Sunday, August 03, 2003
Start with quote about Africa in general. Most attention on AIDS, but that is not the only need. Famine, poverty, need for pastors. How to help? Larry Warren refuses to be overwhelmed. In founding African Leadership, took a series of small steps.
Of all the AIDS victims in the world, 70% live in Africa. That means 30 million of the 40 million victims of infected with HIV live in sub-Sahara Africa. As much as 20% of the population is infected and 6 thousand people die everyday in Africa because of AIDS. Unfortunately in Africa there is also a massive stigmatization and rejection of HIV/AIDS sufferers.
In Cape Town we are building a facility to provide for those who need assistance. The Living Hope center is a holistic ministry, from the time of diagnosis to the time of death-- even to making arrangements for the orphans left behind. Services include AIDS awareness classes, counseling, home-based care, clinic care, school education programs, after school youth programs, and hospice care.
African Leadership also is offering a 3 course curriculum to our 5,000 pastors . These are written by MAP International and covers the church's role in the HIV/Aids pandemic.
As result of severe drought and greatly reduced food production, at least 6 different African countries are currently experiencing widespread famine and starvation. The countries most impacted include: Ethiopia, 15 million; Zimbabwe, 6.1 million; Zambia, 2.3 million;Mozambique, 515,000; Lesotho, 444,800; and Swaziland, 231,000.
Many of you remember the 1985 famine in Ethiopia. It is predicted that the current crisis there will be 7 to 15 times worse. For Zimbabwe, half of their overall population of 12 million risks starvation because there has been no harvest and no rain. Moreover, due to increased vulnerability to disease brought on by the famine, another 3,000 deaths could occurs in the next few months in these countries.
You can see why UN Special Envoy, James Morris, calls the crisis in Africa "the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today."
African Leadership is partnering with different relief organizations to facilitate food distribution through our national directors. In Zimbabwe we are feeding 2,000 families a month through 20 church congregations. In Malawi we are feeding 2,500 people a month through 5 local churches. And, we are beginning the distribution process in Ethiopia. Each family is receiving parcels of food that exceed the daily UN food ration minimum. These bundles give a family enough corn, peanuts, beans, cooking oil and dried fish for a month.
There are currently over 2 million pastors in the world who have received no formal theological training. (Ralph Winter, U.S. Center for World Missions). We are currently offering in-class training to 5,000 church leaders (pastors, elders, deacons, and women) at a low cost. The 10-course curriculum (equivalent to one-year of Bible college) was started in Nairobi in 1990 and is now being taught in more than 30 African countries.
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