Africa (MNN)–In just three years, sub-Saharan Africa will see so many AIDS orphans, it would take 80,000 orphanages that hold 500 children each just to house them.
A recent United Nations Children's Fund report found that a total of 15.2 million children around the world had lost at least one parent to HIV/AIDS. But the virus isn't the only killer of Africa's precious resources.
Teen Missions International's Bob Bland says many of these children who are orphaned by AIDS suffer from exposure, malaria, poverty, and starvation. It's not unusual to find a group of siblings ranging in age from 1 to 10 years old, with the eldest caring for all of them.
Bland says very little of the international humanitarian aid makes it to the rural areas, making the chance of survival for such children, minimal. That's why they began parterning with 'AIDS Orphans and Street Children'.
He explains their orphan rescue units. "The idea is to take the orphanage to the orphans rather than bring the orphans into the orphanage. So, we go out into these villages, and we'll work a five-mile circle. In that five mile circle, there will be four to six hundreds AIDS orphans, so there's a great need to reach out to those children." Each unit is 8' x 16' and house two staff members.
Teen Missions helps by providing seeds and fertilizer, helping them plant and cultivate their own gardens on their own land. They also work to provide some medical help and medicine for illnesses, as well as clothing, blankets, school fees, required uniforms, and teach a vocation.
Bland says while rescuing the physical person is important, the Gospel rescues the spiritual person. "Each unit has a number of little pup tents. Through that, we share the Gospel with them. We're starting now a new work called a 'Motorcycle Sunday School mission', in which we will put two of our graduates from our Bible school on motorcycles, and they will go from village to village, and they will literally run a Sunday school."
If you want to help by either supporting an orphan, or going to the field, click here.