Pastor Rick Warren believes “ordinary” people hold the key for curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.
“There are not enough health professionals in the world to get the job done,” Warren told the 2,000 attendees at his second Global Summit on AIDS and the Church held Nov. 30-Dec.1. ”It must be done by ordinary people empowered by God.”
Held at Warren’s Saddleback Community Valley church in Lake Forest, Calif., the conference drew pastors, social workers and medical professionals from 18 nations. During the two-day summit, which ended on World AIDS Day, Warren and Sens.
Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas, and Barack Obama, a Democrat from Illinois, were tested for HIV/AIDS. “I challenge every pastor to be publicly tested for AIDS so that you can encourage the people in your church to do the same,” Warren said.
During the summit roughly 100 volunteers from Saddleback assisted those who are HIV-positive in their community by painting, building fences and supplying food to local food pantries. In addition, students led education and awareness campaigns in 12 area high schools.
“This global pandemic is the church’s greatest opportunity to serve,” Warren said. “With more than 2 billion members worldwide, the church has the largest distribution network on the planet. If we can teach the church how to minister to those with HIV/AIDS and extend a helping hand in local communities and around the world, we can win this life-threatening battle.”
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