Helping to halt HIV

By July 19, 2011

Cameroon (MNN) — Traveling all the way across the world can be intimidating. But the reward gained when one follows the leading of the Holy Spirit is worth it. Just ask Katrina Shwein.

When Shwein first signed up for the Wycliffe Bible Translators Get Global mission trip to Cameroon, it was daunting. "For me, traveling to Africa by myself…is a little intimidating." But still, Shwein says, "I'm really excited to be a part of this really important work…and to be able to experience the other culture…and serve God while doing it!"

Wycliffe is mainly a Bible translation ministry and has been involved in Cameroon with Bible translation efforts. Now through the prompting of the Holy Spirit revealing needs in the community, they have a team in Cameroon for two weeks working to educate the people on HIV/AIDS and prevention while helping the translation team.

HIV/AIDS is one of the most devastating and least understood diseases in our world today. Cameroon is a country with the 11th highest amount of deaths due to this disease. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, 37,000 people die each year in Cameroon from HIV/AIDS. Without proper education and medical resources, HIV/AIDS only continues to spread among the people in Cameroon, and the death rate continues to climb.

It is true that HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sexual encounters. However, it's also spread mother-to-child through breastfeeding. Across the nation, 11% of HIV/AIDS cases are passed through mother-child transmission.

Education on HIV/AIDS could curb this trend. Shwein says, "We are helping to distribute audio materials of…an HIV educational piece to teach people about the causes of HIV. We're also just there to express the love of Christ to the people and encourage them in their faith."

With such a devastating disease impacting the community, the loving hands of Christians reaching out has allowed many to see of the love God. The team with Wycliffe hopes that in teaching Cameroonians about the causes of HIV/AIDS and the easy prevention techniques, more of the people can have a shot at a healthier life. Pairing HIV/AIDS education with the message of the Gospel will hopefully also encourage Cameroonians to learn more about Christ.

The mission team will be in Cameroon for two weeks conducting HIV/AIDS education and lending a hand to the translation teams down there. Please pray for strength for the team and for boldness to proclaim God's Word.

If you are like Katrina Shwein and want to get involved in a mission trip, you can check out Wycliffe Bible Translators here.   The reward for following God's call is eternal.

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