Families are reaching out to HIV/AIDS orphans in South Africa

By August 5, 2005

South Africa (MNN) — HIV/AIDS continues to take the lives of thousands each year. Those deaths are leaving millions of children orphaned. 15-million AIDS orphans are expected by 2015. One organization continues to reach out to these children who, many times, are rejected by society.

Evangelical Baptist Missions has been working in South Africa for about 80 years. They’ve developed Bethesda village to provide housing, education and Bible studies for some of these children.

EBM’s John Mixom says they’ve recruited Christian families to run their homes. “We have four house parent couples. We really believe that the family should be mom and dad and the kids. So, we have four families going. We have school. In January, when we start a new school year, we’re going to expand to grade, Pre-school and kindergarten and then grade seven.”

Mixom says the goal is to take care of 400 children because the need is so great. “We can take you within minutes of where our village is and see hundreds of kids just living by themselves, kids taking care of kids. It’s just an amazing thing.”

However, giving these orphaned children a home with a mother and father is just one part of the process of combating this disease. The other is leading them to Christ and pointing them to God’s Word. “We believe God’s Word has the answer to life’s problems. God’s Word has the solution to AIDS.”

Funding and government red-tape is the only thing holding up EBM’s plans to expand. Future plans include a program called, “Hands of Mercy Ministry” which includes local church HIV/AIDS outreach.

Pray for funding and that as children participate that they’ll come to know Christ.

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