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Monday, October 6, 2008

Love Africa

By Don Hawkinson of Orphan AIDS Alliance/Mercy Institute
Special to ASSIST News Service

WHEATON, IL (ANS) -- Have you ever felt overwhelmed at the great needs of the world, especially HIV/AIDS? You want to do something to make a difference but you have thought, “Well, that's the government’s problem.” You push the great health care pandemic of the century to the back of your mind and say a prayer that someone might find a solution for all the malnourished, HIV/AIDS infected children of the world.

We know one thing is true; Jesus does love all the children of the world. As we read the Word of God, we begin to realize that Jesus sees and feels the pain and suffering of these precious ones He has created and it brings anguish to His heart. You may recall that He saw the groaning of the children of Israel in bondage. “I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free.” (Acts 7:34) No doubt God sees the groaning of the 148 million orphans, millions of whom have “HIV/AIDS” and longs to “set them free.”

Nineteen trips to the “former Soviet Union” have allowed me to see the “groaning of the orphans of Russia and Eastern Europe. I've seen them in prisons, orphanages, T.B. sanatoriums, on the streets the children of Chernobyl and the orphans of Bosnia in the camps of Croatia. It's heart-wrenching. When God shows us a need however it often means He is going to help us find a solution. I have found this to be true over and over again.

Multiply Russia's suffering children by 20 or 30 and you have Africa. We have a God who knows not only knows their suffering but works through His followers to bring healing to the nations.

The Orphan AIDS Alliance

When we are in “one accord,” God does command His blessing. I believe there are thousands of churches in the U.S. ready to respond if they see a plan to help. My prayer is that this is such a plan. In addition to this staggering number of those suffering with “HIV/AIDS,” the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which measures “under nutrition” say that the most recent estimate (2006) of the FAO some 854 million people worldwide are undernourished. This is 12.6 percent of the estimated world population of 6.6 billion. Most of the undernourished--820 million--are in developing countries.

We begin in America

We need all of the 50 U.S. states to become involved in the “Orphan AIDS Alliance.” For starters, let's break it down to 26 sub-Sahara countries. 26 U.S. States could each adopt a country in sub-Sahara Africa. We know that when there is unity of purpose, “God commands His blessing.” We can't leave this up to government programs to complete this project. Followings of Jesus must be involved.

God has a plan. He has given each of us a “sphere of responsibility.” II Corinthians 10:13 provides an action plan for followers of Jesus who seek to relief suffering in Africa. It's one orphan at a time. In 1992, my wife Ruthie and I traveled to Moscow. We eventually met Dr. Sergei Suhanov, the head of the Cardiac Center in Perm, Russia. He told me of his need for a heart-lung machine. (about $80,000) I returned to Wheaton and within a few days I had located one at a Catholic Hospital in Louisiana. I rented a U-Haul and went down to Louisiana to pick it up. This was the beginning. It was one miracle after another. Working with Bethany Christian Services, Plan Loving Adoptions and Christian Family Services, we were able to find loving homes for about 150 children in orphanages. It was a start. I begin to see that God has a sphere of responsibility for all of us. For Ruthie and I, it was the Russian cities of Perm and Irkutsk. 1.5 million of medical supplies were sent to Russia.

“If we do the possible, He will do the impossible.” It's not just a slogan, it's a reality.

“God has assigned to us (you and I)a field (sphere of responsibility) that reaches even to you.” If we look at the world-wide pandemic of HIV/AIDS, we are overwhelmed and hope our government will do something. The government has limitations however.(Both the U.N. and C.N.N. maintain that only 5-10% of children have access to A.R.V.'s). We thank God for the “PEPFAR” (President's HIV/AIDS Initiative) but it's not enough. An army of committed believers must be raised up who are willing to give of themselves and their resources. His Kingdom has no limitations.

The “Orphan AIDS Alliance” doesn't depend upon the goodness of pharmaceutical companies but use the wonderful healing compounds the Creator has given us. In truth, this is the only answer. Over the past four years, “Mercy Institute,” working with scientists and researchers, Mercy Institute has formulated seven compounds to develop what we call “Restorus.” Our goal is to bring healing to the nations which is sustainable. Our partner is “NuWorld Amaranth” in Naperville, Illinois. We manufacture “Restorus” in Iowa.

The Bounty of Africa

Africa has natural resources which stagger the mind. Many in Africa are discovering the value of “Moringa Oleifera” to their daily health needs. Amaranth grain is part of the diet of millions of Americans. It can be grown in many of the African countries. Five of the natural (non-toxic) compounds in the “Restorus Formula” are found in North America. “Sustainability” can only be achieved as we work together with African countries.

Unity of Purpose

Psalm 133:1 tells us that when God's children “dwell together in unity, God commands His blessing.” A friend who lived in Europe used a track metaphor in his view of Americans. He thought we were great in the 100 yard dash but not so great in the long distance events. We get excited over things we can plunge into and see accomplished in a day or two. Africa is different. It requires long term commitments. It requires a dedication of your life. Considering you are doing this for Jesus and those He loves, it's not too much to ask.

The great task before us

Recently a book was printed I highly value. It's a Mission Handbook. 2007-2009. 600 pages of vital information re: the efforts of followers of Jesus throughout the world. What an incredible resource this is! Now, we need to build on what others have done. To focus on the HIV/AIDS crisis, we need to gather a great deal of information.

Questions need to be answered re: the 26 sub-Sahara countries;
1. Mercy Institute is seeking funding to gather data on HIV/AIDS and
malnutrition from 26 sub-Sahara countries in Africa
2. Each country has provinces. (Zambia has nine provinces)
3. Determine what is currently being done to bring health to children and
adults, especially those with HIV/AIDS
4. Discover which mission organizations, hospitals, churches, faith-based ministries are ministering effectively in each country and have a passion to help those suffering with HIV/AIDS.
5. Determine strategic relationships.
6. Processing hubs will be needed in each of the 26 provinces. This will require working with the Ministries of Agriculture. In the U.S., each of our states have state “Farm Bureau's” They can be very helpful
7. The “Orphan Aids Alliance” seeks to work with groups like the “Fellowship of Christian Farmers.”
8. The Role of the African and American Farmers. American and African farmers, working together, can meet the challenge of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other deadly diseases. By working together to plant crops that will yield annual harvests of botanicals with proven ARV and other beneficial compounds. This plan allows us to look to the day when African farmers can be part of the supply chain that manufactures treatments for HIV/AIDS, malaria, nutritional supplements, and even many kinds of cancers to serve the millions of people in Africa suffering with a variety of diseases. We believe we can strengthen agriculture in countries at risk and this will result in long term solutions. Eventually, manufacturing facilities can be established in each country so those who need it can not only get the correct treatment, but also treatment at the correct dosage.

American farmers can help Love Africa because they have the knowledge and technology to help identify harvesting sites, to determine the time of the year for harvesting, as well as to determine the proper selection and botanical identification of raw materials for the purpose of establishing herbal medicinal gardens and nurseries to promote conservation of medicinal plants. Once harvested, they can also lend their knowledge to help protect products from contaminants during transport and storage, in addition to providing the use of tools for mechanical processing. They can also provide expertise in assuring content care under the proper storage conditions, product shelf-life, as well as create an inventory system. Protocols for testing will be determined by American scientists for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and, ultimately, several forms of cancer.

Progress and Planning

At this time, Mercy Institute has used the services of formulators and chemists who are knowledgeable in the efficacy of the ingredients planned for inclusion in the proposed treatment. Mercy has completed internal studies of the effectiveness of these ingredients to provide ARV benefits and disease relief. The result of these investigations and research is the initial manufacture of a single-product treatment - RestorusT.

Our philosophy is to help Africa become self-reliant and to discover what the Creator has already given them. Only when the appropriate “compounds” are not available in Africa will we need to import these from other nations.

As part of this planned exercise, the opportunity will also be taken to incorporate combinations of ingredients - all of which are known to contribute health benefits - and a variety of potencies and dosages, with the goal of determining the optimum single-product solution for treatment, while maintaining the Mercy Institute goals of natural composition and low delivery cost.

* The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
* The right to know they are valuable to God since they are created by God for friendship with Him.
* The right to be able to read and have a Bible in their own language to learn about Jesus.
* The right for reasonable security.
* The right to be cared for with love and kindness, with clean water, clothing and nourishing food.
* The right to develop their God-given gifts in order that they might serve the community.
* The right to learn about the uniqueness of the country in which they live.

A final word

If you would like additional information about “Mercy Institute” and the “Orphan AIDS Alliance,” I would like to hear from you. Here's my personal email; donhawkinson@msn.com. I'll send you a link for you to personally review. Gratefully, Don Hawkinson, President, Mercy Institute.
 


About Don and Ruth Hawkinson: Since 1992, Don Hawkinson has served as the president of Mercy Institute. “Mercy Institute” (formerly Mercy Medical Mission) has helped to establish an open -heart program at the Perm Medical Academy and led relief efforts in Croatia, Belarus and Russia. Don is the author of “Character for Life, An American Heritage.”Don was educated at Biola University, Seattle Pacific University and Trinity Divinity School. Ruth Hawkinson is a graduate of Swedish Covenant Hospital School of Nursing and serves with Don in “Mercy Institute.” Don and Ruthie have a son, Mark and two grandchildren Luke and Brooke who attend Wheaton Academy. The Hawkinson's have been involved in missions in Russia, Belarus, Croatia, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic since 1966.

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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.