This week U.S. President George Bush asked Congress for $30 billion more to fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa.
CBN News spoke with activist Kay Warren of Saddleback Church recently about the Bush proposal and the way the church could partner with the government to tackle this worldwide killer.
The extra $30 billion, combined with the $18 billion already pledged--would bring the U.S. government's 10-year commitment to $48 billion.
Last year alone, 2 million people died of aids. Of the 33 million infected, two-thirds live in sub-saharan Africa. That's where much of the U.S. government's aid program, called "Pepfar," is focused.
But activist and evangelical author Kay Warren says Christians must not rely solely on the government.
"Our hope is not in the government. Our hope is not in Pepfar," she said. Our hope is in the church, because long after Pepfar stops being authorized, long after governments change, long after relief organizations come and go--the church is still going to be in those communities scattered around the world."
Warren says the church in the U.S. and abroad needs to care for HIV patients and help reduce the stigma of AIDS.
She also encourages believers to make AIDS personal by joining the fight.
If I know an orphan by name, if I know specific people, then it doesn't feel like it's just numbers, like it's this staggering problem that there's nothing we can do," she explained.
Warren says presidential candidates apply too, which is why she invited them to a December AIDS summit at Saddleback.
The way we view it is--if our goal is to stop AIDS--which it is--It's not going to happen without the leadership of the next president of the United States.
Heading into the November elections, Warren--and millions around the globe--hope it's an issue that will stay on the presidential radar, and the church's as well.
*Original broadcast February 1, 2008.