Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Global Poverty Prayer Week

The effects of poverty - financial poverty, education poverty, water poverty - are multiplied by the effects of HIV/AIDS which disproportionately affects the poorest nations and poorest peoples of the world.

In 2006/2007 there were 10 AIDS deaths every hour and 10 new cases of HIV every hour in the northern region of Malawi.

There are too many children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, too many communities who are missing whole generations because of HIV/AIDS.

There is a sign in a school in Ekwendeni, Malawi which reads, 'Education is a social vaccine against AIDS'. Local churches are running health care and health education programmes specifically designed to prevent the spread of this infection. Local churches are providing food to give those taking ARVs a balanced diet, training visitors to sit with those infected, those bereaved, those orphaned that they might know someone loves them.

Reflect upon this verse:

Matthew 8:3 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

O Lord Jesus, who touched the man with leprosy, give us grace and strength, as your disciples, to reach out to victims of HIV/AIDS, to touch those who have been made to feel excluded because they are ill. Make us worthy to be partners with those who visit the sick, who feed the hungry, who care for those in great need.

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