Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Celebrating an opportunity to "step into Africa"


Ellen Shaffer here - honored to be sharing about the amazing work God is doing among His Church to benefit children orphanned or made vulnerable by AIDS. This November, Forgotten Voices had the opportunity to partner with local churches and organizations to bring the World Vision Experience: AIDS to Central Pennsylvania. This free, 8-day exhibit invited participants to "Step Into Africa" and experience the lives of four children deeply impacted by the AIDS pandemic in various African nations.

Forgotten Voices was blessed to assist with the planning and execution of this event. We also had staff present throughout the week to share opportunities for taking action against AIDS through the ministry of Forgotten Voices. Since most of the exhibit visitors were from the same area as our home offices, it was a fantastic way to connect with churches and individuals in this region who desire to get more involved with our ministry.
In the end, approximately 4090 people walked through the exhibit and 305+ children were sponsored through World Vision! Hundreds more visitors connected with Forgotten Voices and other quality organizations, made one-time donations, or simply walked away with a greater understanding of the AIDS pandemic and how we can and must respond. We celebrate all these levels of impact!
We know of at least 12 local churches who sent groups or individuals to visit the exhibit, including Carlisle Evangelical Free, Christian Life Assembly, Cumberland Valley BIC, Dillsburg Hope Grace Brethren, Five Forks BIC, Harrisburg BIC, Lebanon Evangelical Free, Middlecreek Community Fellowship, Silver Spring Presbyterian, Daybreak, St. Stephen's Episcopal and West Shore Evangelical Free (host site for the exhibit).

We hope to see this exhibit serve as a catalyst for greater awareness and action throughout Central PA on behalf of children impacted by AIDS. Rather than being a one-time event, we desire to see ongoing commitment and change as a result of this experience. For those who attended AND those who were unable to make it, here are just a few of the ways to take the next step towards making an impact - regardless of where you live:
1) Pray for children, families, churches and communities impacted by HIV/AIDS through Africa and the rest of our world.
2) Visit in the days ahead to see our newly updated website and learn how our ministry is having an impact throughout Zimbabwe and Zambia - two nations DEEPLY affected by AIDS.
3) Become a monthly or one-time donor to Forgotten Voices, helping us provide crucial financial resources to churches caring for children orphaned or vulnerable due to AIDS. We need your financial support to continue assisting our project partners. Consider a creative fundraiser or making a donation in someone's honor as a Christmas gift!
4) If you haven't already, sign up for our periodic eVoice to receive updates on our ministry and our project partners in Africa.
5) Volunteer your gifts and talents to Forgotten Voices. Email if you are interested.
6) Visit these websites to learn about other organizations also working in various ways to provide assistance to children affected by AIDS - and

7) Visit to see when the exhibit may be coming to your area - then sign up to volunteer or walk through as a participant! You won't want to miss it!
As we approach World AIDS Day on December 1st, I invite you to find a way to "step into Africa" and put yourself in the shoes of a child impacted by AIDS. Through one or more of the action steps above, allow yourself to gain a new perspective on the world and consider how this better understanding of the realities of our world may compel you to respond.

1 comment:

brian said...

I personally enjoyed the event a great deal, it was moving and informative. Thanks for being a part of it!