Rising HIV/AIDS Crisis Spurs Christian Outreach in Tanzania

( [email protected] ) Mar 03, 2004 02:08 AM EST

Tanzania – Compassion Ministries, an affiliate of the Evangelic Free Church of America, continues outreach to youth efforts in Tanzania. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to rage unchecked in Africa, Compassion Ministries is now working furiously to promote the "True Love Waits" curriculum in this small African nation.

According to Compassion Ministries' spokesman, Jim Snyder, the curriculum is more than an AIDS prevention/awareness outreach effort. Snyder says, "It's one that very definitely touches on issues of not just morality, but scriptural principles on why one would wait for marriage in order to have any relationship with the opposite sex."

Though many aid groups emphasize prevention by contraception, Compassion Ministries seeks to educate Tanzania's youth on the dangers of premarital sex with purely the moral teachings of the Bible. Besides educating youths, the "True Love Waits" curriculum also provides ministry opportunities to local churches, schoolteachers, and more importantly the students.

Currently outreach efforts have been relatively successful. Astonishingly, the first school to adopt the curriculum was a Muslim school. "We were surprised that we were invited to the very first one," Snyder later commented. As the curriculum is gaining much success, Compassion Ministries confidently anticipates that more schools will adopt the program. Nevertheless, Snyder emphasizes, "Without prayer doors like this will never open."