PC(USA) Minute for Mission ~ World AIDS Day

The Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study dates back to 1892 and has the longest history of any denominational mission and prayer book in the United States.

Today’s PC(USA) Minute for Mission from the Mission Yearbook…

Map of CongoOne of the many ways that God multiplies the loaves is through partnership. PC(USA) partner the Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC) is addressing the needs of children orphaned by HIV and AIDS in the Democratic Republic of the CongoUNICEF estimates that as of 2009 more than 16 million children under 18 have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. Ninety-three percent of these orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these overwhelming statistics, significant progress is being made.

Trained volunteers from the Action Presbyterienne Contre la SIDA (APCS), the AIDS program of the CPC, work to address the needs of the many orphans in the area. To help carry out this work, the APCS created in many of the local communities charity committees responsible for visitation. The volunteers visit the families who take care of the orphans (sometimes relatives, sometimes not), encourage them, and assess their physical and emotional well-being. The volunteers also work with the local parish to identify ways to assist the orphan(s) and the host family by providing food, clothing, money for school support, etc.

The APCS has found that the most effective way of caring for an orphan is to encourage and support the whole family. When the family is healthy, all the members thrive.

—Joy Raatz, former facilitator, HIV/AIDS Initiative

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