As Darryl Humphrey stares into a sea of faces, a lump comes to his throat. Seven hundred people die of aids daily in Kenya. How many in this crowd will die tomorrow?
Then Humphrey tells of how Christ helps him control his sexual urges and remain faithful to his wife.
In the background, Joshua Ng'elu nods in agreement. The public sector manager of Kenya's National AIDS Control Council thinks such testimonies may save thousands of lives.
"These people are black, just [as] we are," Ng'elu says of 65 African American Christians—all but four of them men— visiting Kenya in late January to promote prevention programs. "Normally, the people who speak of abstinence are white. But when you have someone coming in who is the same color and telling you the same thing, it makes you stop and think."
Shalom Outreach is a Dale City, Virginia-based short-term missions agency that works with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. It has been sending African American Christians to the continent since 1996.
Many Kenyan men have multiple sexual partners. They are the main source of spreading the deadly virus that causes AIDS, which is devastating many Kenyan families. More than 730,000 Kenyan children have lost at least one parent to AIDS. Fourteen percent of the population of 30 million is HIV-positive.
"We came here to show our African brothers that their brothers in the United States care for them," Humphrey says. "We want the Kenyan men to see that there is a way to survive this pandemic through Jesus Christ."
The team dispersed to six locations throughout the country. The group distributed thousands of bottles of Tylenol to local hospitals, visited secondary schools, and led open-air meetings. More than 3,500 people ...