Friday, December 01, 2006

DO SOMETHING: World AIDS Day

"Then the righteous will answer him, saying,'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'

"The King will answer them,'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
Matthew 25:37-40




It's WORLD AIDS DAY.

STOP! Do not tune me out. This is important! Keep reading!!!

Since it was discovered, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people. Today, 40 million are living with this disease.

How Much Do You Know About AIDS? Take the test. I got them all right. That doesn't make me feel good, because knowing just makes me aware of how awful this pandemic is and how many families are disappearing and communities are falling apart because of it.

So, what can YOU do, if you aren't already doing something tangible to fight this plague?

Forget the ribbons, I say. I'm not much of a ribbon-wearer. I don't see that it does much except make you feel good and part of a crowd. I say, skip buying ribbons and pins and pendants and send that money directly to a legitimate organization that helps those suffering with AIDS.

Let me suggest one:

World Vision. This is an organization I've supported for 8 years now and through which my hubby and I sponsor two African children and their families in Chad and Mozambique. We also have, for the past few years, given Christmas gifts through them, usually choosing some gift that assists AIDS orphans and widows. They've been working in Africa for quite a while, within the communities, with the actual people, hiring workers in the very areas affected.

Yes, World Vision has some ideas on how YOU can help: Twelve things you can do.

I strongly encourage you to pray about sponsoring a child in an AIDS affected community. Thirty bucks a month. THIRTY. A MONTH. What's that? Less than the cost of a pair of sneakers. The cost of six trips to Starbucks. Four paperbacks? Less than a bottle of perfume. Less than two DVDs.

And yet, that 30 bucks can change a life and help a whole village when pooled with other sponsors. And this is one way that you'll actually know and SEE (in pictures and reports from local WV staffers) how your dollars make a real, experiential, life-altering difference to real people affected by AIDS in impoverished lands.

If you can't manage that, then give a one-time gift as a Christmas gift to Jesus. It's HIS birthday after all, and he doesn't need anything from WalMart.

If you want to have the WV AIDS EXPERIENCE--not suitable for the young--take 15 minutes to journey with Olivia or Stephen.

I'll also encourage you to be personally mature and responsible in your sexual activities. People I know, people I care about, still have unsafe sex. Personally, I think it's amazingly dumbass not to protect yourself in an age of deadly and incurable sexually transmitted diseases. Beyond dumbass. It's selfish and hedonistic and someone needs to slap all of y'all over the head with a frozen fish so that your loved ones don't LOSE YOU TO AIDS cause you decided a bit of whoopee and a bareback "ride" was more important than protecting your LIFE!

Okay, I get emotional about it. :::::breathe, breathe::::

I'm better now.

The best protection if you're unmarried is total abstinence. Make all the faces you want, but that's a fact. Plain and simple. And that's also what God commands. God loves us all, the AIDS free and the AIDS stricken, the sexually pure and the impure. His love is like rain, it falls on us all. But his commands are for our good.

If you will not heed God or common sense regarding abstinence and fidelity, then please, please, please proceed with caution and with sexual protection and assume it CAN happen to you. Cause it can.

On AIDS day, let's remember our duty and calling: Be chaste outside of marriage and faithful within it. And at all times be ready to help the suffering and the poor and the ailing, no matter what color, faith, lifestyle, ethnicity, gender or location.

Pray that a cure will be found. Pray for the sick and dying. Pray for the orphans. Pray for the selfless workers tending the affected all over the world.

And go right now to send a check or to sign up to sponsor a child in an AIDS affected-community with World Vision!


and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then your light shall rise in darkness, and your obscurity be as the noonday; and YHWH will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters don't fail.
Isaiah 58:10-11


Edited to Add: For those who want a rating and breakdown of World Vision's expenses, check the Charity Navigator page for them.

6 comments:

Chris said...

Hate to break it to ya Mir, but the "best" protection if you ARE married is still total abstinance. The 2nd best is a condom. In both instances. See, the virus don't care if you're married. If you can find a bug free monogamous partner you trust, that's cool too. Trust is the ticket, not marraige. guess that wasn't on the test.

A lawyer friend of mine perused the WV website and couldn't make much sense of their financials. Here in Canada a "non-profit" charitable organization need only give 4 percent of what they rake in to whater cause they're championing. but knowing you, you've dug deep into WV.

Mirtika said...

Yep. That's the truth. Lots of women (more than men) infected by cheating spouses.

Chastity and fidelity are only as good as the people committed to the ideas.

They give the vast majority to their projects. And you get biannual pics of your sponsored child and reports of their progress. There is usually an annual report of the village's progress, too. And once the village is self-sustaining, they move on. (I had this happen with my first sponsored child from El Salvador. The village was able to use the tools and education provided to become self-sufficient, which is the goal.)

Mir

Mirtika said...

Trust is not the ticket. Fidelity and honor is. And if anyone remotely suspects hubby or misses of stepping out--remotely--it's time to get some serous latex.

I use condoms, and my husband has never had sex with anyone but me. And he will leave the room if there is a nude scene on the telly. He takes his sexual purity very seriously. So, I trust him. But we still use condoms for birth control. :D

Mir<--doesnt' trust easily...you gotta prove you deserve it

Anonymous said...

Wow! Mir, that's interesting about hubby. Is he the same with violence? Will he leave for scenes of torture?

Personally, I've always hated condoms. They smell like "English loos" as one gf put it. They chafe. And they're tight, even on me, so I can't imagine what more seriously endowed guys go through. As far as I recall, they don't come in sizes, because no guy'd ever ask for small, right? I find them unsatisfying to outright painful to ejaculate into.

So I'm thinking that some of that AIDs money should get poured into comdom technology.

Also, to really protect yourself (unlsess your sex is pretty wham-bam) you're supposed to wear a dental dam too. And there i definitely draw the line.

Mirtika said...

He is uncomfortable with excessive violence, BUT, as I've posited before, when they shoot up or knife an actor, it's make-believe, and we know it. When a couple onscreen get naked and start swapping spit, they REALLY ARE NAKED and swapping spit. It's not fake nudity and fake tongues.

Also, watching someone get killed doesn't make me want to kill. If anything, it makes me want to lock killers away. Watching sweaty antics does incite lust. Another difference. :)

So, there is are differences. Violence and sexual activity onscreen are not equivalent. :)

Mir

Anonymous said...

In non-porn movies the sex is fake. (Even in porn, the passion is fake.) Spit is all they're swapping. And I believe violence begets violence too. At the very least it inures viewers to it. Children can be downright inspired. WWF and GI Joe cartoons are thw only two things I wouldn't let my own kids watch anyway.