Monday, December 11, 2006

How Many People in Your Family have AIDS?

How many people have you met who have HIV or AIDS? Do you have anyone in your family with HIV or AIDS? Have you ever cared for someone who has AIDS? HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. You will not see "HIV" but you will see AIDS because of how it destroys the immune system. ( If you have HIV and any of a list of about 24 designated Center for Disease Control opportunistic infections, then you have AIDS. )

In the United States, we are blessed with the money and the ability to treat someone with HIV. As a matter of fact, someone with HIV in the United States has every chance to live a normal life span with treatment. Furthermore, we have the money and medicine to prevent HIV from passing from mother to child.

In Kenya, there is little money to treat HIV, and less money to treat someone once AIDS begins. As a result of this, many parents who have HIV die by the time they are 30 yr.s old. Mothers rarely even know if they have HIV until the AIDS breaks out. Therefore they infect their babies with HIV. Then the cycle has begun.

The "victims" of HIV/AIDS are often wives\mothers and the children they bear. When the parents die, the tragedy left behind is the millions of Orphans, referred to as AIDS Orphans. When I was in Africa in October, every person I met inside and outside of the church was caring for AIDS Orphans. It is amazing to hear story after story of brothers and sisters taking care of younger orphaned brothers and sisters. Aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends moving orphaned relatives into their homes. It is such a heart-breaking experience to listen to people tell their story.

Please consider helping out these young victims.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Social Ministry for Your Church – Help AIDS Orphans in Africa (Free Trip to Kenya for your Pastor)

Friends of Mercy wants to take your pastor to Kenya to help AIDS Orphans and meet the elders of the Maasai village. (The Maasai donated 60 acres of land to build a boarding primary school and home for girls fleeing FGM.) A Faith and Mercy Expedition is a program that takes people to Kenya to work with members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya. The kind of work that is done depends upon when the trip is scheduled. It could be anything from fixing walls in an orphanage to assisting nurses in a medical clinic.

Become a Friends of Mercy Sponsor

All we ask is that your congregation becomes a Friends of Mercy Sponsor. When your congregation commits $3,500 to our project in your budget, we will take your pastor to Kenya on a Faith and Mercy Expedition.

Pictured above are three pastors who visited an orphanage in Orthoro. Pictured below is the mud hut in which eight boys lived before the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya built the new orphanage thanks to a grant from our partner, LCMS World Relief.

We encourage members of your congregation to go as well and experience a life changing 11 days. Are you interested in helping AIDS Orphans? Do you know of anyone who desires to help? Pastor Mark Sell (pictured at right) will gladly come to your church and meet with your pastor, your elders, or any person(s) who might be interested in helping.

Contact us at: 1-877-31-Mercy or