Spotlight: Faith Leaders in Washington, Stepping Up the Fight Against AIDS, TB, and Malaria

This past Wednesday, our 2030 Collaborative team brought four amazing faith leaders to Washington D.C. to champion the funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria with Friends of the Global Fight.

Brian McLaren, Dr. Gus Reyes, Rev. Beverly CroweTipton, and Dr. Robert Rex Record came from all over the South (FL, TX, SC, and AL) to share their experience and passion to step of the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

We are at the precipice of potentially ending each of these epidemics by the year 2030. But we won’t reach our goal unless we reconsider an increase of funding this year for FY20 budget.

Rev. CroweTipton spoke eloquently of her empathy from a child for those living in extreme poverty and her heart for missions. She also proudly shared how her denomination, United Methodist Church, has been the only denomination to raise and give $28 Million to the Global Fund to Imagine No Malaria, as a God-sized dream.

Brian McLaren shared his vast experience in developing nations, having witnessed small huts who had a malaria net – and nothing else – thanks to the United Methodist Church, and how that was a life-saving mechanism for millions others thanks to the Global Fund.

Dr. Gus Reyes explained the interconnections between our families and friends here in the United States with those in Central and South America and, indeed, around the world. We care about our neighbors living next door and in other nations. We care because we are called to lift up those who are suffering.

And, Dr. Record shared his heart and background in medical missions having treated patients with both tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. In both cases, these children had very low chances of survival simply because they weren’t treated soon enough. He came because there are so many others who are victims of these preventable, treatable diseases if we just hold the course of funding for the Global Fund.

The Global Fund, since 2002, has saved the lives of 27 million people. If we step up the fight, we can avert 234 million infections or cases, reducing the incidence rate by 42 percent across HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 2023.

We had the chance to share our stories with the offices of the following:

·      Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

·      Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)

·      Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)

·      Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

·      Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

·      Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)

·      Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)

·      Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL)

·      Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

It was a long, but excellent day on the Hill!

Jennifer Dyer