The Attack of Disease

5 May

Blog post by Lauren P., Team Haiti 2011

 Here in the United States, you can find a health clinic or a hospital on almost every street corner.  If we are sick or ill we make our way to the closest drug store for some over the counter medicine or call the doctor’s office for an appointment.  It is that easy and convenient.  We take ibuprofen and Tylenol for granted.  We don’t know what suffering is.  Unrelenting pain is foreign to us.  Disease frightens us but we place our faith in medical teams and staff.  We are blessed to have this kind of access to care.  We forget about our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering from horrible diseases.  Children and families are dying everyday from dirty water and starvation.  “Food-borne and water-borne diseases kill 1.8 billion people a year (compassion).”  This is hear-wrenching.  Children and orphans who get sick don’t have access for care.  For instance, a young child or orphan who suffers from diarrhea ends up dying because of the lack of clean water available to him/her.  He/she becomes dehydrated when all they need is clean water to help rehydrate them from all the fluid they are losing.  We take so much for granted here in the United States.  When we walk to the refrigerator to grab a bottle of water, this should remind us of those suffering and drive us to action.  What can you do to make a change? How can you defend the orphan?

 AIDS has been an issue that has been placed upon my heart.  “Nearly 33 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, of which 2 million are children under the age of 15. An estimated 15 million children under age 18 have been orphaned due to AIDS and the number is rising. About 11.6 million of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.  The AIDS pandemic is the one of the most devastating humanitarian disasters of our time, leaving a generation of children in jeopardy.”  A generation of children in jeopardy?  This is eye-opening and as disciples of Christ, we should take a stand and do something about it.  AIDS destroys families and separates them leaving children orphaned and without the support they need to grow up, survive, and thrive.  Children are abandoned on the streets and without the love of a family.  Most have AIDS themselves and die at an early age.  AIDS is a devastating crisis and strips people of everything they have. 

 What does Christ say about this? 

God loves the fallen world and all who are in it. Jesus illustrates God’s compassion. He touches lepers, making himself “unclean,” when others shun them as if they have the plague (Luke 5:12–13). He welcomes all kinds of outcasts (Luke 5:29–31).   When he sees a widow burying her son, who was her only means of support, “his heart went out to her” (Luke 7:3). When he sees the hungry crowds, he feels compassion for them (Mark 8:2). He takes the role of a servant, not that of a master, and tells the disciples to do the same (see John 13:12–17).

We have an assignment to help those in need instead of just standing around watching idly as others suffer.  We are to live out our faith through compassionate service to the orphan and to bind together with each other so that there are no needy persons among us. We must get to the core of the issue, take a stand, and be the voice of the orphan.  They need us and God is calling us to action.

Lauren P. will be serving on the Haiti Journey 117 Team leaving in May 2011.

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