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New IMB resources provide information on worldwide AIDS crisis

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–More than 60 million people have been infected with the AIDS/HIV virus since the epidemic began two decades ago. In 2002 and 2003, it claimed an estimated 2.7 million to 3 million lives each year. In sub-Saharan Africa, the epidemic is killing more than 6,000 people every day.

Southern Baptist missionary Troy Lewis says it breaks his heart.

Lewis moved to Lusaka, Zambia, last year with his wife, Tracey, and their two young sons to work as an AIDS/HIV program developer.

“You look at the number of these people and reaching them seems an insurmountable task,” he says. “We don’t have enough missionaries here to reach them. There’s just an incredible need.”

The epidemic “is taking more lives than were taken during the Holocaust of World War II.”

Those who are suffering and will never hear about Christ weigh the most on Lewis’ heart.

“I hurt for all those people who we haven’t reached, the ones who we haven’t touched with the love of Christ,” he says. “Seeing [the] children is really what drives me. It’s what energizes me and pushes me to do more, to pray more and to seek the Lord more.”

Baptists have been behind on their response to the AIDS crisis, Lewis says.

“We as Christians talk about the need to start churches,” he says, “but if we don’t do something about HIV/AIDS, we’re not going to have anyone to go to the churches we start.”

Three new resources from the International Mission Board address the spiritual and physical impacts of the worldwide AIDS crisis — and suggest ways Southern Baptists can make a difference.


“Faces of AIDS” — a new website at http://imb.org/AIDS — is a comprehensive resource on AIDS’ global reach and how a church or individual can make a difference. Visitors can watch and listen as AIDS sufferers tell their stories and a Southern Baptist missionary shares his work. Photo essays introduce homes for AIDS orphans and adult sufferers. An interactive map shows AIDS’ impact on various regions and how governments are dealing with it.

The site includes ways Southern Baptists can respond to the AIDS pandemic — through prayers, gifts and service.


A new video — “AIDS: Steal, Kill and Destroy” — tells a story about combating the AIDS/HIV crisis that people won’t hear in the secular media. Viewers learn how, in about a 10-year period, Uganda has seen its rate of HIV/AIDS decrease from 30 percent in the early 1990s to 10 percent of the population today. Troy Lewis introduces the Africans he loves and shares how his heart breaks for a nation of the dying, the dead and those whose lives have been forever altered by AIDS.

The video also reveals how God’s heart breaks for India’s “untouchables” and challenges viewers to get involved themselves.

AIDS: Steal, Kill and Destroy is available in a DVD format with a bonus PowerPoint presentation at http://resources.imb.org/index.cfm/fa/prod/ProdID/1041.htm or in a VHS format at http://resources.imb.org/index.cfm/fa/prod/ProdID/1042.htm. The video also can be ordered by calling toll-free 1-800-999-3113.


TConline — “theCOMMISSION” magazine online — gives readers an in-depth setting to explore the AIDS issue.

“The urgency of AIDS” — http://tconline.org/stories/500697.html — helps readers understand the big picture of the global AIDS epidemic. Readers can learn about ministering in crisis, AIDS in Zambia, the life of an AIDS orphan and more.

“When people accept Christ as their Savior and Christ changes their life, this will change that person and, therefore, their community,” says Mike Howard, an IMB worker in Zambia.

And with millions dying every year of AIDS — many without Christ — Southern Baptists can’t work fast enough.
For more about Troy Lewis’ ministry, go to http://www.imb.org/aids/comstory7.asp. (BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: MISSIONARY’S TOUCH, ELIJAH’S BEDSIDE, MOTHER & CHILD and MONICA’S VIGIL.

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  • Manda Roten