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Beacon of Hope, an AIDS awareness and care program connected to a large fellowship of churches in Nigeria, is among four organizations that received a grant of about 1.5 million dollars through AERDO, an association of evangelical relief and development organizations of which the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee is a part.

The money will be used to promote abstinence among young people through a program called ABY: Abstinence, Be Faithful, for Youth.

Stephen Lewis, Canada’s former ambassador to the United Nations who now works to bring the plight of AIDS-ravaged Africa to the world, has stated that programs like this will not work. His solution is to make condoms widely available in Africa.

What Lewis doesn’t realize, say Gerald and Jackie Hogeterp, is that HIV/AIDS is as much a spiritual problem as a medical one. The Hogeterps, who serve with Christian Reformed World Missions in Nigeria, say, “Our basic message will be no sex before marriage and no sex outside of marriage. If this is deemed hopelessly old fashioned, so be it. This is what Scripture teaches and ‘we must obey God rather than men.’”

The Hogeterps ask the Christian Reformed churches join them in thanksgiving and prayer for

  • the women of Nigeria,
  • capable leaders and teachers for the ABY program,
  • youths who struggle with sexual issues and pressures,
  • dedicated and faithful pastors.

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