Youth ministry training could help the HIV/AIDS problem in Uganda

By January 1, 1970

Uganda (MNN) — The country of Uganda is taking the next step to fight HIV/AIDS. The county is opening its first factory to produce anti-retroviral drugs to treat the disease. The drugs will be available starting in January and they hope to help many of the 300,000 people who are known to have the disease. However, this doesn't address the heart issue that could prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading altogether.

World Gospel Mission is addressing that issue, but their doing it with young people. WGM's Lisa Fish explains the need. "The country has 28 million people and over half of them are 15 years old and younger. What we're trying to do is develop youth pastors and then youth ministries programs that will teach basically evangelism and then discipling these youth who then would learn in some of these lessons about purity, integrity, and healing."

Fish says this is an empowering type of program. "We are training people to be leaders and then empowering them to be equipped to train and work in youth ministries."

The program is only about two years old and already they've seen results. "People are incredibly receptive," says Fish. "[Many of these]People are from traditional tribal religions as well as Muslim religion and other things that they have been taught over the years. But, they are very happy to listen to what we have to say."

They're also watching their actions. According to Fish, their training isn't complete when the classroom work is done. "I require them to immediately go out and practice the evangelism program and we have had more than 30 people since June or May who have received Christ."

Resources are a challenge for the church in Uganda. Fish says, "Our goal and challenge in January will be to have workshops on not just how to do study the Bible, but how to write a Bible study that you can share in your church. Eventually we want the churches to take these programs over themselves."

From that they combine all the lessons from those that have been trained and make them into a book to help youth leaders across the region.

Pray that World Gospel Mission will be successful in training and that Ugandan Christians will take the program to the next level.

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