By Elizabeth Cheney
When I hear the word AIDS, I think developing countries, poor health and no cure. To be honest, I’ve never known much about the virus, nor have I cared much about it. I mean, I cared that it existed, and it saddened me to know that large numbers of people were dying, untreated from it. It saddened me to know that, at this point, there is no known cure for it, although various medications can hold it at bay.
That said, it’s a good thing I sat in on a discussion about AIDS during the last reflection chapel. I listened as the facts were flashed before us. Three million people die from AIDS every year. 250,000 die every month. 57,533 die every week, 8,219 every day, 5 every minute.
Then more statistics: 15.2 million children orphaned by AIDS globally, 80 percent of those live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Then I started thinking. These poor people have become statistics. Is this the world we live in, where people become statistics just because their circumstances aren’t ideal? I guess it is. At this point I started wondering what the AIDS crisis had to do with Corban. Obviously it’s a global problem, but why was it the topic of discussion in chapel?
The answer is simple: Corban students are part of a larger church, a church that provides assistance, love and testimony to people of all races, nations and tongues. And if the church doesn’t know about the problem, it can’t help adequately.
And help takes various forms. There are four basic needs that were stated in the discussion: spiritual, social, political and economical. First, the church should provide spiritual nourishment. Second, “social” means getting the word out to people, spreading awareness. Third, political needs are big. Our government needs to help too. Fourth, we can provide economic help by giving to organizations such as World Vision.
We can do all these things, but the most important step is to pray. Pray for the governments of these countries and for our government, that they will take action and fund programs to help these people. Pray for legislators, that they will introduce and vote for legislation and that will help AIDS victims, both those with the disease and their families. Pray for the organizations that are getting involved, that they will bless people. And pray for us, that we – the church — will respond to God’s calling — to help the less fortunate and support the widows and the orphans.
As for me, I choose to be one of these prayer warriors, not because it’s the easy way but because it’s how I feel I can best contribute to the cause.
What about you? How are you going to get involved? Think, pray, and then act. Change a life. Change the world.