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HIV/AIDS infections and deaths on the rise, but a ministry brings hope to the hopeless.

By June 3, 2005

Zambia (MNN) — In the past year, more people died of AIDS-related deaths and more new infections occurred than ever before, reported United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The AIDS pandemic is multiplying on every continent, unmatched by efforts to stem the tide of the disease, and The United Nations met this week to discuss the pandemic affecting the entire world.

Also escalating is the number of orphans left behind.

In Zambia, Teen Missions International is providing hope and help. Through twelve orphan rescue units, they’re meeting spiritual, educational, medical and agricultural needs.

Doug Peterson serves with Teen Missions in Zambia: “Teen Missions tries to take our rescue unit into an area where we might find from 200 to 250 orphans in about a 3-mile radius of our rescue unit.”

They’re rescuing orphans from a life of hopelessness and despair. Peterson says, meeting the spiritual need is the key, “We do want to give the orphans a hope for the future. We share with them the claims of Jesus Christ. Many of them then accept that, (and) make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. We have Bible studies, we have camps to nurture them and disciple them in this relationship that they’ve discovered. And it really begins to make a difference in their lives, and the hope that we were stating that was missing many times begins to grow from that point.”

Teen Missions has a goal of establishing 100 rescue units throughout Zambia in the next 5 years. Peterson says that’s possible as lives are changed and orphans are challenged to make a difference for Christ.

“And we’re having many of our orphans say this is what they now want to do, and the cycle then continues and it grows and it expands and it’s exciting to see that they have a hope and a desire for the future and to serve the Lord with their lives and to see the Lord change what was such a big problem in Zambia, and actually there’s a hope and an answer.”

As lives are changed, communities are impacted and revitalized. But Peterson says prayer, laborers and support are essential. “The fields are white unto the harvest. And pray that we would be able to touch these orphans’ lives and that they would be touched by the Lord. And that there would be laborers then, even from the orphans, that would be full-time in the Lord’s work and that they would have an opportunity. That the Lord would raise up supporters for the ministry and we would be able to set up more of these rescue units and touch more of the orphans’ lives.”

If you would like to help Teen Missions rescue AIDS orphans in Zambia and throughout the world, visit their website. Follow the link above to get connected.

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