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HIV/AIDS and Its Effects on Orphans

18 Feb

Blog post by Melissa and Karis, Team Haiti 2012

How many kids with HIV/AIDS do you know that have been adopted? Do you know that a large portion of the world’s population does not have updated information on HIV/AIDS?  If the world was properly educated on HIV/AIDS, they would learn a person with this disease does not have a death sentence.  The truth is, “HIV is considered a chronic, but manageable disease with the proper treatment.”

Thanks to a nonprofit organization, Project Hopeful, we have learned the truth of this disease and God’s heart for these children.  If you’d like to learn more about how these children can live a normal life, with medication and a family to love them, visit http://www.projecthopeful.org.

I saw the effects of HIV/AIDS on orphans while in Jamaica recently.  We spoke with the head of adoption in Jamaica and asked about HIV orphans, like how many have been adopted.  Sadly, she said none.  This woman was asking us what the life span is for a child with HIV.  These orphans are in a remote area of Jamaica, at a special needs orphanage.  They are essentially put in a “back room”.  HIV is so widespread there due to rampant drug use. These children are outcasts; they may not even be educated on their disease. They may have no hope.  This is wrong.  God has plans for these children, other than never seeing anything besides a “back room.”

Melissa and daughter, Karis, will be serving on the Haiti Journey 117 Team leaving in March 2012 along with and others from their church in Evanston, IL.

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Ethiopia Journey Inspires Teacher to Do More

9 Jan

Nathan Livesay, a teacher at Sumter High School and former basketball coach, spent nearly two weeks of his Winter Break in Ethiopia with Journey 117, a ministry of World Orphans.

BY JADE ANDERSON janderson@theitem.com  The Item

A trip out of the country can change a person.
“I wouldn’t trade those two weeks for a state championship,” said Nathan Livesay, a former Sumter High School basketball coach.
Last month, the English and credit recovery teacher traveled to Ethiopia with World Orphans, an organization that brings churches in Third World countries together with American churches to help supply basic needs of the children being cared for by the indigenous churches. He learned about the organization through the Willow Creek Global Leadership Development Summit simulcast held at Alice Drive Baptist Church in the fall.
“I was reading the statistics about HIV and AIDS, about people dying in extreme poverty, and the numbers really bothered me,” Livesay said. “I was compelled to go on this trip to put a name and face with the statistics. … Even with basketball, I’ve always had a heart for kids that don’t always have everything they need.” Continue reading

Poverty…what an emotional word!

21 Nov

Blog post by Danielle B., Team Ethiopia 2011

Poverty…The state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money

Absolute Poverty…The inability to afford basic human needs; clean and fresh water, food, health care, education, clothing, shelter

Relative Poverty…The lacking of a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

Poverty…what an emotional word! I don’t know about you, but that word just makes my mind go in circles. Poverty! How can it possibly be that 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today!?! I mean really, I look at everything my family and I have; a house with stable walls that doesn’t leak air, a pool with 15,000 gallon of clear water in it, a frig that is over flowing with way too much food, way too many cars, way too many Lego’s, etc. (I just get exhausted thinking about all the material things I have!) And then I think back on that word, POVERTY!  I just don’t get it, but I am trying my best to at least try to understand.

The last couple of months I have really been seeking to understand what the real meaning of poverty is and how God sees poverty. I have learned that many of us, good-will as we have tried to be,  have totally distorted the meaning of poverty and how we are to go about helping. My recent trip to Guatemala really opened my eyes to this. Continue reading

Helping the Children of Haiti

22 Aug

In May of this year, one of Modern Postcard’s Graphic Artists, Callie Himsl, journeyed to Haiti with World Orphans to help children affected by the devastating earthquake. Amazingly, this trip was the second time Callie used her own personal time for volunteer work and to do her part to create change in the world. Check out her moving story.

http://www.modernpostcard.com/blog/august/helping-children-haiti

Delta College student raises funds for Uganda Journey

27 Apr

Delta College student Jessica Duncan, of Cedarville, is raising money to go on a mission trip to Uganda this summer with a group of people from across the country. Photo by Alicia Dale, The Bay City Times

Article from mLive.com

FRANKENLUST TWP. — Faith hasn’t always been easy for Jessica Duncan.

The religious beliefs of the 19-year-old Delta College student have been challenged by unfortunate circumstances in recent years.

“I’ve experienced a lot of deaths in my family,” said Duncan, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who attends St. Paul Lutheran Church in Frankenlust Township during the school year.

“I’ve lost a lot of people, and it made me question my faith. I really questioned God.”

Duncan, a sophomore studying to become a nurse, has lost two grandfathers and an aunt in the past four years.

But out of tragedy was born an opportunity to revitalize her faith….

Continue Reading Article at mLive.com

The Horrors of Child Sex Trafficking

26 Apr

Blog posted by Amber Cassady

Ponder back to some of your favorite childhood activities. For me, I think one of my fun memories was on a hot summer days, putting the sprinkler under the trampoline and jumping to my heart’s content as the cool water splashed up through the little holes in the trampoline. My little brother and I would laugh for hours doing this until we couldn’t jump anymore. Imagine having no fond memories of your childhood like these. How would your life look differently if you never had the chance to run and play, as children should? What if instead of reminiscing about the fun days of hide and seek and playing “house,” all you had were nightmares of abuse and being forced to have sex with men you did not even know? Continue reading