According to recent statistics, 3 million people die each year as a result of AIDS, leaving 15 million children worldwide having lost one or both parents to this horrific disease. On Dec. 1, in honor of World AIDS Day, Steve Haas, vice president of World Vision-United States, will speak to the ACU community during Chapel at 11 a.m. in Moody Coliseum on the ACU campus.
"AIDS is an extremely relevant topic for the ACU community because it affects the world that we live in more and more everyday," said Jenny Robinson, chair for Awake 3:18, an AIDS awareness student organization at ACU.
"There are people living with and dying from AIDS here in our own city of Abilene. AIDS is no longer considered an 'epidemic' contained to that continent of Africa that seems so far away from our little world. It is now called a 'pandemic,' meaning that its effects can be seen all over the world."
Along with speaking on Friday morning, Haas will speak Thursday evening in a chapel forum at 7 p.m., in the Teague Special Events Center.
World Vision-United States is a relief and development organization serving the poor in nearly 100 countries.
"As a dynamic spokesperson for World Vision's humanitarian initiatives in the U.S. and worldwide, Steve encourages the church to respond to weighty causes on God's heart and take an active, biblical role as salt and light in society," said Wayne Barnard, Dean of Spiritual Formation at ACU.
Informational booths on AIDS awareness will be set up all week in the campus center. The "Lives are at Stake" display began Monday in the mall area. The display features photos of 1,000 children directly affected by AIDS. Students are encouraged to spend time looking at the photos and praying for those affected by AIDS around the world. The events are being hosted by Awake 3:18 and the Office of Spiritual Formation.