Worldwide, 33.4 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 67 percent (approximately 22.4 million people) of those infected are in sub-Saharan Africa.
On this World AIDS Day, and our thoughts and prayers turn to patients of St. Francis Care Clinic in South Africa where our missioners Cecilia and Tim Marcy serve.
FMS missioner Cecilia Marcy and coworkers
St. Francis Care Clinic has four different programs including a hospice for 48 adults, a Rainbow Cottage for 30 abandoned or orphaned children, a home-based care center to provide support for outpatients, and two clinics with free counseling, testing and antiretroviral drugs.
A trained nurse, Cecilia ministers to HIV/AIDS patients in the hospice. Tim works in the outpatient center, he also brings communion to the sick and homebound in his role as a deacon.
Today's prayer for Christmas comes from one of the Marcy's coworkers, a counselor at St. Francis:
“This Christmas I am thankful for the kids, my boys, and that I'm alive still.”
It's such a simple prayer, but in the face of a disease that has killed more than 25 million people since 1981, it's a powerful one.
This World AIDS Day, please join us in praying especially for St. Francis Care Clinic patients, staff and volunteers, as well as the others affected around the world.
St. Francis Clinic in South Africa