Zambia is a major destination and thoroughfare for people. Instability in nations surrounding Zambia has sent hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing into Zambia, especially from Zimbabwe of late. Also, Zambia is vulnerable to traffickers of both child labourers and sex workers. Thank God for a recently passed law specifically criminalizing human trafficking; pray for its effective implementation. Pray that Zambia might be the location where many uprooted people find succour and discover the Living God.
The AIDS crisis overwhelms the health services, the economy (as many trained professionals succumb to the disease), the pastoral work of churches (over 100,000 AIDS-related deaths per year) and family life. Pray specifically for:
a) Those working to reduce AIDS. All major denominations have adopted pragmatic policies to combat the spread of the disease and to assist those infected. Many have specific ministries devoted solely to AIDS issues such as Jesus Cares Ministries, Advocates for Change and SU’s Aid for AIDS programmes.
b) Attitudes toward AIDS have changed. A lot of the stigma, superstition and bad information are now replaced with compassion in action. Infection rates have reduced from 20% to 15% in 10 years, with much greater reductions in specific segments of the population.
c) The military, police and copper mine workers have some of the highest rates of infection. These groups tend to frequent sex workers through whom AIDS is passed and who most likely have the highest infection rate of all.
d) Children. Zambia has 710,000 orphans, mostly due to AIDS; nearly 20% of all children are suffering the loss of their parents. Over 90,000 live on the streets. Almost 75% of Zambian households care for a relative orphaned by AIDS.