An Opportunity to Give

Today more people die of HIV/AIDs every 22 days than died in the tsunami in Asia this past Christmas. That may be hard to believe since HIV/AIDs has faded into the background in much of the media coverage. This disease is ravaging Africa where misinformation and poverty have combined to create a pandemic of epic proportions. The Live 8 festivities this weekend were intended to draw the world’s attention to the poverty, disease and tribal warfare that is devastating an entire continent.

I have been asked to come to South Africa later this month to teach at an HIV/AIDs Intervention School that is being conducted by the people I often visit at the AIDs outreach in Kansas. The school will do outreach in one township of South Africa where nearly 50% of the 400,000 people have tested positive for HIV. Children are often born with HIV and many are orphaned by parents who have died of it.

I have taught this school a number of times, doing one week of the four-week school. The topic I work with is “Father’s Compassion for the Afflicted,” which is designed to help people move from religious thinking about suffering to relational living in the love of Jesus and how they can share the reality of that love effectively with others at moments of extremity. I am excited about the opportunity to help overseas and touch firsthand the people who bring the light of the Gospel into such incredible pain. I would appreciate it if some of you would keep me in prayer in my travels, my week of teaching at the school (July 24-29), and as I stay on in the area to meet with some out-of-the-box thinkers from South Africa who have been in touch with Lifestream for some time.

Also, people ask me from time to time if we ever have a special project were we could use extra money. Since we really don’t do projects, I never know what to tell them. If you’re a frequent reader of the Lifestream site, you will know that we almost never mention our need for money because God continues to be our provision as we do what he has asked us to do. I only mention the opportunity to give on one of our web pages where those who want to find ways to help us out. But truly without the regular generosity of brothers and sisters whom God asks to share some of their resources with us, we would not be able to provide the free web sites, articles, recordings, BodyLife mailings, and blog entries that encourage people on this journey. That generosity also frees my time to interact with people in travel, email and in phone calls who are sorting out how they can live freely in Father’s life.

We are confident he will take car of this trip as well, though the expenses are huge. This school is designed for African nationals who may attend free of charge. At this point over 70 Zulu health outreach workers have already signed up for the course and this has put a financial strain on the school and staff. They are not even able to cover the expenses of those coming in to teach at the school. Thus I need to cover my airfare and expenses. Additionally, the school is in need of $100.00 donations to scholarship each African taking the one-month course. They are also looking for $10.00 contributions to put together ‘relief’ bags for those living with HIV/AIDS that the school will be meeting on outreach. This includes medical supplies and small toys for children.

I would love to a number of us be a conduit of God’s blessing to them. I don’t want anyone to feel guilty or obligated to help, but I did want to put this before the body in a specific way in case God might speak to your heart. If you’d like to help financially with this project, please let me know. You can either send contributions directly to us at our new address: Lifestream; 7228 University Drive; Moorpark, CA 93021, email them via PayPal or phone with a credit card number and expiration date. If you designate your gifts “Africa Outreach” we’ll make sure that your gifts go to help in this task. Your gifts will be tax-deductible and we can receive them up until July 20, 2005. Thank you for your consideration of this opportunity, and please get in touch with me if you have any questions.