Below is a copy of a thank you I finally had time to send out today to anyone who has supported The Sophia Fund, used to feed AIDS widows and orphans in Africa. If you sent money via check or anonymously, I wanted to make sure you received a thank you. If you haven't given yet, please consider doing so.
I wanted to write for some time now to thank you for your support of my appeal for help to feed AIDS orphans and widows in Africa through The Sophia Fund. To date, we have raised about $6,000, which far exceeds what I expected! What's more, money continues to arrive every week and one major restaurant in Pittsburgh, Bistro-to-Go, has a container out to receive contributions. God is so good, and my contacts in Zimbabwe and Kenya are abiding by my wishes and spending every penny on food and nothing on overhead. I think that is a wonderful thing. Mother Stanko would have been pleased.
I am not sure if you are aware of scope of the HIV/AIDS problem in Africa. About 22 million people are infected in sub-Saharan African with HIV/AIDS. In addition, there are 12 million African AIDS orphans, whose parents and/or grandparents are dead leaving the children with no means of survival but begging and scavenging. They often become easy prey for human predators who exploit their helpless and hopeless condition.
I have chosen to focus on Kenya and Zimbabwe and here are the statistics on those nations alone as of 2008:
Country Kenya Zimbabwe
People living with HIV/AIDS 1.5 to 2 million 1.3 million
Adult (15-49) rate % 7.1-8.5% 15.3%
Women with HIV/AIDS 800,000 to 1,100,000 680,000
Children with HIV/AIDS 130,000-160,000 120,000
AIDS deaths 85,000-130,000 140,000
Orphans due to AIDS 990,000 to 1.4 million 1 million
When faced with these statistics, our $6,000 seems pretty paltry, but I have been guilty for too long of not doing something because I could not do a large thing. Since I could not give $1,000, I would not give $100. Since I could not give $100, I would neglect to give $10. I vowed not to do that any longer and I am grateful to you for your generous support as we seek to save a little piece of the world when it is within our power to do so.
I will continue to appeal for support in my publications, including my weekly Bible studies, The Monday Memo and my website. If you have any ideas of how to expand the fund, as we have through the restaurant here in Pittsburgh, please don't hesitate to write and let me know. In the meantime, thank you for making The Sophia Fund a voice in fighting hunger and disease. I am attaching two pictures, one of the orphans and the other of the widows you are feeding in Kenya. It's a little tougher to get pictures from Zimbabwe, but I hope to have some in July.
Thanks again and may God bless you for your generosity.