28 Jan 2008
The sun rises over the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho .. the dawn of another day for the Basotho.. It is Saturday A day of shopping and rest. A day to watch or play sports. A day to enjoy. Well, maybe for you but not for many Basotho.
Saturday is the day for funerals! And funerals are becoming a much more common event among the Basotho, because of AIDS.
Recently a church leader had funerals for her sister and her sisters husband. They died one month apart. As an integral part of a Basotho funeral service a family member explains how the person died. On the surface the explanation is always TB, or pneumonia. Below the surface it is AIDS! These deceased parents left behind three young children . all now being cared for by an elderly grandmother.
And this is not an isolated story!
Many families are barely making ends meet for the necessities of life . then a death occurs. Their family size has suddenly doubled overnight as have the expenses for school fees, medical bills, food and clothing.
AIDS is devastating southern Africa. Five people die very minute from AIDS.
The first case of AIDS in Lesotho was reported in 1986. Now Lesotho is now #4 in the world for AIDS prevalence. This means that 31% of the population lives with AIDS almost one out of every three persons.
But these numbers represent people. Sometimes the innocent
wives of unfaithful husbands
babies who receive the virus from infected mothers
children who are left as orphans as parents die from AIDS.
Mother Theresa once said ..
Whenever I look into the eyes of someone dying with AIDS, I have an eerie awareness that Jesus is staring back at me.
Children are the future of a nation yet they are the innocent victims of AIDS through infection and through abandonment.
In Lesotho, in 1990 less than 100 children were orphaned from AIDS
.. in 1995 there were 4,000 orphaned children
.. in 2001 there were 73,000 orphaned children
.. by 2010 it is estimated that one in four children will be orphaned because of AIDS.
Jesus said .
I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.
Many efforts are being made to educate the Basotho about AIDS .
But most of these lead to a false hope. They lead people to trust in condoms and not change their lifestyle. And the numbers keep increasing the people keep dying.
The true answer to the AIDS crisis is found in Jesus Christ. The only true hope is found through a relationship with Him .. and the love and compassion experienced through the arms of believers.
An AIDS worker in Lesotho recently said, I cannot say I love Jesus and not embrace those who are dying.
Will you pray for the Basotho people as they daily combat the AIDS crisis?
Will you intercede for those children who have lost one or more parents due to AIDS?
Will you ask the Lord of Hosts to come and offer hope to the Basotho?
Will you be the feet that brings this good news. ..showing true compassion and mercy to those affected and infected with AIDS.
What are you doing this Saturday?
Why dont you use it to remember to pray for the Basotho
living with the effects of AIDS!
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