In Africa today, over 7,500 people will contract HIV and nearly 6,000 will lose their lives to AIDS (UNAIDS, 2006). When they die, they take with them their earning power, their human capital, and they leave behind their children. It is predicted that there will be an estimated 16 million orphans by the end of this decade (UNAIDS/UNICEF, 2004). The facts about AIDS in the poorest countries – especially Africa – are now clearly in focus. They are showing an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy.
Ambassadors International Ministries is born out of compassion that drives us to do what we can to alleviate the pain and suffering and help remove its cause.
A Three-Fold Approach
Ambassadors is currently pursuing three major areas of ministry to respond to this need in a holistic way (benefiting the community and the “whole person” in economic, social, and spiritual ways):
Millions of children are without parents across Sub-Saharan Africa, which leaves them with out mentors, means of support and community. The Compassionate Communities are designed to provide homes for the children, mentors and biblical discipleship to build Christian character into the children, so they may remain HIV free.
Ambassadors’ communities will provide education, homes, life skills, medical treatment and a Christian upbringing. Our first Compassionate Community has been established in Welkom, South Africa at The Pines (more info | brochure).
Ambassadors will help build stronger coping mechanisms at the community level through biblical training and compassionate ministries. This will be done by helping local national pastors build new churches, grow existing churches and use the strength of the local church to help deal with the AIDS pandemic. It is largely at the community level that the battle against AIDS will ultimately be won – with communities feeling both empowered and enabled to cope with and combat the epidemic.
The basic cause of the AIDS pandemic is immorality. Through Ambassadors biblical training in morality, we trust to see a return to “old-fashioned” morals. Coupled with crucial life skills training, Ambassadors has focused community outreach ministry already underway in Kimberley, South Africa.
Development of income generating projects are vital to making a lasting impact within the community. As one person said, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.” Such projects teach important skills, help the local economy by creating jobs, and provide localized sustaining funding of the Compassionate Communities.
A tunnel farming project is currently being planned in Welkom, South Africa to initially address this need.