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Here is a letter from the Purple Pastor at Eastpoint Community Church. He’s in Africa for two weeks working with orphans of AIDS:
Dear Scot, Tonight I’ll be flying from Philadelphia to London, and then on to Lusaka, Zambia. Zambia is my first stop on a two-nation, African tour. The reason for my trip to Zambia is two-fold. One, I will be joining Rob Smith, the founder and president of the Agathos Foundation, assisting him, along with the Zambian government and other Agathos’ staff, in identifying several potential sites for orphan villages. Forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but I can’t remember if I told you that I was asked to serve on the board of Agathos-Zambia. After a short conversation with my wife Cherie, who shares my passion for Africa, I accepted the invitation to serve. So this trip will be my first exposure to the Zambian side of the HIV/AIDS crisis. The need for orphan care is so severe in Zambia that the Zambian government has agreed to partner with the Agathos Foundation in building 200 villages. This partnership offers an unprecedented opportunity to serve the orphans and widows of sub-Saharan Africa and extends Agathos’ reach beyond the Republic of South Africa. Which brings me to my second reason for spending seven days in Zambia: we desperately need to establish strong relationships with the Zambian government, as well as the Zambian pastors and priests who are committed to caring for their own orphans and widows. To that end, several meetings have been set up with government officials and Christian leaders. Needless to say, it will be a very full seven days.
The last leg of my journey will be spent in the Republic of South Africa. The first Agathos’ site for orphans and widows—“The Cottages at Injisuti”—is located in a small Zulu village called Loskop, which is roughly four hours north of Johannesburg. We’ll spend our second week encouraging and training Agathos’ personnel who run the daily operations at the Cottages. I spent two weeks at the Cottages last May. That was a life-changing, first-hand encounter with the orphans and widows who are struggling to survive the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has forever changed their lives.
Pray for us as we travel. It’s a notoriously unsafe and disease-infested area of the world. Any kind of severe illness is potentially life-threatening, especially in Zambia. Pray that God will go before us, with us, and behind us as we move from village to village and nation to nation. Most importantly, pray for those infected and affected by the pandemic. Today alone, 6,000 children will be orphaned by this devastating disease. Agathos is only one channel through which God’s compassion can be brought to the helpless children of Africa. Many, many others are still needed. So please pray.
Above all, thanks for your friendship and your willingness to support me in this endeavor. I’m eager to share the stories with you on the other side.
Grace and peace,
Tom

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