The worst health crisis in the world in 700 years, global HIV/AIDS epidemic is overwhelming in scale: 40 million people are infected worldwide (75% of them in Africa); 7000 people die daily; each day 1600 persons are infected. Some 26 million people have already died.
"At this unprecedented kairos moment in human history," says Messer, "God is calling the church to a new mission and ministry." Drawing on his own involvement in global AIDS education in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, Messer uses stories, basic factual information, and theological insights to motivate lay and clerical Christians to assume leadership and form partnerships with Christians around the world in this struggle. Just as individuals must change their behavior to prevent and eliminate AIDS, so must congregations and church leaders. Compassion, not condemnation, is desperately needed, says Messer. But financial resources for education and prevention programs are also urgently required from churches. Messer shows how churches can partner with ecumenical organizations, relief agencies, volunteer mission programs, healthcare programs, and other agencies to engage global AIDS directly and effectively.