Saturday, August 2, 2008

Red Letters: Chapter 4 (Pandemic)

I am the world’s Light.
--John 8:12

[This chapter is heavy on statistics again. The numbers make you think, though.]

pan·dem·ic (adj.): of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.

[I decided to consult Webster’s this time]

Pandemic. When you try to associate that word with a number, it’s difficult to do. I admit, my brain just automatically says, “wow, I guess that must be a lot of people.” No, but really…it’s A LOT of people! What pandemic am I talking about, you ask? I’m talking about the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Did you know that although Africa is home to only around 10% of the world’s population, it is home to more than 60% of all people living with HIV? That means there’s approximately 24.7 million people living with HIV, in Africa alone. 12 million African children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. In Asia, an estimated 8.6 million people are living with HIV, while India has 5.7 million infected people. There are almost 1 million people in the U.S. who are infected with HIV, and what’s even more crazy is that a quarter of them don’t even know it.

So, I’ve given you all of these numbers (thanks to Tom’s research), and I know most of you are thinking…ok…so…what do you want me to do? Today, I’m not suggesting you take a particular action, I’m simply asking you to ask yourself one question.

How would Jesus respond to this pandemic?

[P.S. I’ve always been interested in not only working with orphans in Africa, but I’ve been interested in working with orphans affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS. So even though there’s a lot of statistics, these numbers are giving me even more of a reason to do something. I hope the numbers have the same effect on some of you.]

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