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Christians urge involvement in the fight against AIDS.

By September 22, 2004

Zambia (MNN)–Over 42-million people worldwide live with HIV and AIDS, with over 60-percent of those cases in sub-Saharan Africa alone. The disease is running rampant, infecting and affecting a shocking number of people. Consider the numbers: 25-million have died since the late 80’s; 14-thousand are newly infected daily; there are more than 14-million AIDS orphans; 8-thousand people die of AIDS each day.

If nothing is done to stem the tide in the next few years, the HIV/AIDS problem in Africa will be dwarfed by the cases that will skyrocket in other countries like India, China, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Russia.

World Vision is confronting this devastating disease with their Hope Initiative. It is a plan to provide practical, tangible solutions through the ministry of the faith community. The initiative works through a triple focus. They seek to educate people about HIV/AIDS to help prevent spread, support those who are infected and advocate for those who are vulnerable, especially women and children.

Zambian-born and HIV positive, Princess Zulu is the World Vision spokeswoman for AIDS in Africa. Princess is her name and not her title, although she is descended from royalty. With an incredible passion and energy to talk about her story and the great needs of the millions affected by HIV/AIDS, Princess has seen first-hand the value of meeting people’s physical needs. “Sometimes, you cannot preach Jesus without touching the people’s physical needs. And I think the more people are likely to respond, the more people receive what they receive. They ask, why do we do what we do. And then we tell them: ‘It’s because of Christ.’ And then people end up coming to Jesus Christ.”

Princess is traveling the United States urging the church to wake up and join the fight against AIDS. Her most recent stop was in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she spoke to the Mars Hill Bible Church community. To all Christians everywhere, Princess challenges us to answer the call because the faith community is seen as a key player in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Come along with us. We cannot do it on our own. We need to work with the church because the church has the passion to care for people. And in the time of HIV and AIDS, we need everyone to turn the tides against HIV and AIDS.”

Princess warns that we are sitting on a time bomb and the AIDS crisis will only continue to get worse unless we step in and take positive action. Through World Vision’s Hope Initiative, you can help make a difference.

Pray that God will continue to work through Princess Zulu as she travels with World Vision around the United States. Pray that God would awaken His people to respond to the great need with the love, compassion and hope of Christ.

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