An interdenominational missions organization is looking for nominations of unsung heroes, those who are tackling the issues of poverty, sex trafficking, HIV/AIDS, the need for clean water, homelessness and other needs in today's society, for its second bi-annual Epoch Awards to be held later this year.
"We want to uncover every rock of people doing incredible work around the world, but with little to no recognition," said Jeff Shinabarger, founder of Plywood People and event organizer. "Everybody knows somebody giving their lives for others that could really use funding to continue their effort. We want to honor those people that no one knows about and give them a platform to keep doing good."
Epoch (pronounced "Epic") Awards was birthed out of the heart of Tim Abare, COO of Adventures in Missions, located north of Atlanta in Gainesville, in January of 2011. Organizers say anyone can nominate an unsung hero who is actively serving others and whose bravery is rather unknown by going online to http://epochawards.com/nominations/nominate/. The nominations close next Thursday (May 30). more >>
WASHINGTON – The U.S. government program that helps treat and prevent AIDS in foreign countries is threatened by budget cuts, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Tuesday. He urged faith-based organizations to increase their efforts at rallying support for the program.
"You're going to have to up your game because pressures exist today unlike any time in politics," Graham said at a Washington, D.C., event co-hosted by a number of organizations that have worked together to fight AIDS around the world, including World Relief, World Vision, Pan African Christian AIDS Network, UNICEF, and the United Methodist Church.
Politicians find foreign aid an easy target for budget cuts, Graham explained, because most Americans believe foreign aid comprises a significant part, as much as 25 percent, of the budget. In reality, though, foreign aid is only about one percent of the budget and not the cause of the nation's budget woes. For this reason, Graham believes it is important for faith groups to let their congressional representatives know they will stand behind them, or "provide a safety net," if they do not cut foreign aid programs to fight AIDS. more >>
The numbers are in – and they are not good. The Centers for Disease Control recently released a report stating there were more than 110 million sexually transmitted infections among men and women nationwide as of 2008. That's 110 million lives impacted forever.
The CDC data reveals that the Human Papillomavirus or HPV accounts for the majority of the STIs in the United States. There is no treatment for the virus and the infection sometimes leads to cervical cancer. In a rather dismissive way, the government report states that "most sexually active men and women will get HPV at some point in their lives."
Incredible, the federal government is simply raising the white flag of surrender and promoting the notion that "everyone is at risk." Their solution? Vaccinate children as young as 11 or 12 and keep vaccinating until they reach their mid-twenties. more >>
A new study spanning 15 countries, including the United States, has highlighted that transgender women are nearly 50 times more likely than the general population to be at risk of an HIV infection while another has cited a dearth of HIV-surveillance data on women with surgically created vaginas.
The first study, conducted by Dr. Stefan Baral, director of the key populations programs in the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and colleagues, and reported in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, examined data from 15 countries with male-predominant HIV epidemics. The countries included the U.S., six from the Asia-Pacific area, five in Latin America, and three in Europe. The findings come after nearly four decades of grappling with the AIDS epidemic.
"Our findings suggest that transgender women are a very high burden population for HIV and are in urgent need of prevention, treatment, and care services," said Dr. Baral and his team in the discussion of their findings. more >>
If you ever wondered how much of an impact the Christian faith of Dr. Hannah Gay, the University of Mississippi Medical Center pediatrician whose treatment "functionally cured" a baby girl born with an HIV infection, has had on her work, you don't have to anymore. Her faith is "everything," she says.
The former Baptist missionary who spent years living with her husband in Ethiopia in the 1980s opened up about her faith to the Baptist Press in a recent interview and she explained that her Christian faith defines her life.
"My faith affects everything I do. It defines who I am," she said. "It is actually everything I do and that includes my medical career. And certainly it's the love of Christ that I'm passing on to these children [patients]. It's not anything from myself; it comes from my faith." more >>
Dr. Hannah Gay, the University of Mississippi Medical Center pediatrician whose treatment "functionally cured" a baby girl born with an HIV infection, is a Christian who previously spent years living as a missionary with her husband in Ethiopia.
In the 1980s, Gay worked with her husband as a missionary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and these days she's cultivating the faith of third and fourth graders through the teaching of Bible passages at her church on Wednesday nights, according to the Washington Post.
The very private Gay, who has four children and a grandson, is a devout Christian who puts her faith first and juggles her family and career in between. "She does not like being in the spotlight," her 24-year-old daughter Ruth Gay Thomas told the Washington Post. more >>