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As South Africa’s AIDS problem grows, believers respond.

By April 25, 2005

South Africa (MNN)–Health organizations say 5.3 million people are being affected by AIDS in South Africa.

The disease wiped out a whole adult generation, leaving thousands of orphans. Nelson Mandela was quoted as saying, “AIDS today in Africa is claiming more lives than the sum total of all wars, famines and floods and the ravages of such deadly diseases as malaria.”

Evangelical Baptist Mission’s Don Whipple works with those orphans through Bethesda Village in South Africa. He says it’s a real fight for the future. Against the sober backdrop, their ministry has been blessed. “We have about 27 orphans in care. Those orphans are split up between four family units. Our Christian school is up and running with one South African teacher and two American missionary personnel teaching there as well. We’re really enjoying, right now, ministry to these orphans and looking for ways now to expand.”

Whipple explains their focus in the outreach. “These orphans are HIV-free, which gives us the hope of training up a whole other generation.”

The Bethesda team is doing all that it can to diminish the threat to Africa’s future. By placing these children in a loving home with Godly South African parents, Bethesda is trusting God to build strong families for His glory.

Whipple explains, “Our major emphasis, right now, is to help children come to know Christ, and then our dream and prayer is that they will grow and as young people, be able to enter back into their society as Christian leaders.”

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