Christians address HIV/AIDS in Ukraine

By March 27, 2008

Ukraine (MNN) — Africa is known for its HIV/AIDS pandemic. However, parts of the former Soviet Union are starting to see infection rates surpassing those of Africa. Now, Christians are beginning to take notice and want to do something about it.

Last week Russian Ministries' country coordinators from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Uzbekistan met in Kiev to talk about strategy in training Next Generation church leaders, while also providing training in HIV/AIDS.

Vice President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says, "We had two training seminars at the same time in our new ministry center — both young people and pastors who want to know more about how to prevent HIV/AIDS expansion."

Rakhuba says HIV/AIDS is growing exponentially in Ukraine. "Ukraine today has taken first place among all industrialized countries in HIV/AIDS growth. It's 14-plus percent annual growth, which is already a pandemic."

This isn't something Russian Ministries is doing on its own, says Rakhuba. "We're very much involved with working with other organizations, helping pastors to learn more about this and mobilize their congregations and their communities to get involved in more prevention work, [which can help with evangelism]."

According to Rakhuba, HIV/AIDS is just one example of how their Next Generation Church Leader training and Schools without Walls program can help. "It's so important that pastors and international leaders are on the cutting edge, analyzing the situation and preparing their congregations to continue being effective and adequate to respond to all those threats that are in the society."

Pray that Russian Ministries will be effective in helping train church leaders in cutting-edge outreach.

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