Kenya (MNN) — Scott Collins of Buckner International has been traveling to churches throughout the United States lately to speak about the needs that AIDS creates in Africa.
Specifically, their work in Kenya is having a great impact.
UNICEF estimates that last year 12 million children age 18 and younger lost one or both of their parents because of AIDS. This creates an incredible need to share the hope of Christ with them, and Buckner is meeting that need.
They have several mission trips year round to minister to orphans in Kenya. During Collins' church visits, he spoke with a church planning a trip for next August. "We're finding a lot of people who are gaining an awareness of the needs of children on the continent and are wanting to get involved somehow in their own way with their hands-on ministry to help the kids," said Collins.
Relational evangelism during such trips is the most effective in helping children, and Buckner has mechanisms to get new believers plugged in at local churches for discipleship. "We are able to share the Gospel through our verbal witness and testimony" as God opens the door, Collins explained.
UNICEF estimates that by 2010, more than 20 million children will be orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Collins says the advancement toward that number is becoming visible
already. "You see what's not there, and that is people who are middle aged. Everyone is very young or very old," said Collins.
In some places, the average life expectancy has dropped from somewhere around 60 and 70 years old to younger than 35.