The Warrens have publicly acknowledged that the Church has been "late to the table" regarding its response to AIDS, but also notes that only the Christian Church has the infrastructure to effectively reach the most affected people around the world -- namely those living in poverty-stricken, Third World countries.
The Summit remains the only HIV/AIDS conference worldwide to be built entirely on a practical "local church-based" strategy designed to mobilize millions of congregations around the world for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
The event focused not just on how the Church can make a difference, but also addressed why the Church should even care. When asked why the Church, and he and Mrs. Warren in particular, have joined in the battle against HIV/AIDS, Rick Warren stated it in very simple terms, "Two words: Jesus would."
Dr. Pauline Muchina, senior partnership advisor at UNAID, referenced the recently revised HIV/AIDS statistics issued by her organization, which dropped the estimated number of HIV infections from 39.5 million in 2006 to the current 33.2 million as the prevalence of infections worldwide has actually leveled off and even decreased. "If 2.5 million people are still getting infected each year, that's not cause for us to relax -- we still have a lot of work to do."
That urgency was echoed by Vivian Berryhill, founder and president of The National Coalition of Pastors' Spouses. "Until the number is down to zero, we still have a problem, and we need all the funding we can get," she said.
Summit workshops and plenary sessions wer
|SOURCE Saddleback Church/Global Summit on AIDS and the Church|
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