Winter 2000 Newsletter: A Shelter in the Time of Storm
Author: Dr. Saleem Farag
Publish date:
Update: AIDS Crisis in Zimbabwe, Africa

Many tourists and even frequent visitors of Zimbabwe see the lovely game parks, exotic flowers, colorful birds and trees. They may never notice that behind this pristine tropical paradise is the AIDS nightmare that has gripped the country for almost two decades in a slow-motion suicide.

Mortuaries in Zimbabwe are always full. Over 1200 people die every week from AIDS-related causes alone. Most of them are young parents leaving a generation of orphans. In Zimbabwe, with a population of approximately ten million, there are 800,000 orphans. Children often are infected with the dreaded disease at birth. Grandmothers are left to care for all the grandchildren when their children and spouses have died of Aids. One grandmother said, “We are living in a strange world today; instead of children burying their parents and grandparents, the grandparents are now burying their children and grandchildren.”

Funerals have become commonplace. Churches are busy burying members. In Zimbabwe, one out of four young adults between the ages of fourteen and forty-five are infected with the HIV virus. The forecast for Zimbabwe is more death, devastation to the family structure and economic development, and more orphans. Patients go to the hospital to die, not to be treated. The drugs that slow down the virus are not available or affordable in Africa.

The AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe is part of a burgeoning epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. It has already claimed more lives than the Holocaust during World War II. It is estimated that 33 million adults worldwide are living with HIV infections or full-blown AIDS; two-thirds living in sub-Saharan Africa. Just by way of comparison, North America has 890,000 HIV/AIDS infected while sub-Saharan Africa has over 23 million! In this world of quiet horror, AIDS has become the leading cause of death in the sub-African continent with over 5000 deaths each day.

The need for homes for the AIDS orphaned children is a challenge for the nation and for the Church. The traditional extended family in Africa, which normally took care of orphans in the past, is now unable to care for the children because of inflation and because of the large numbers of children orphaned by AIDS. Yet in this raging storm, small efforts here and there are being made to provide shelters for innocent victims. One such shelter is the self-supporting Simbaredenga Newstart Children’s Home on the outskirts of Harare.

In January 1999, my wife Grace and I were directed through the narrow streets of Mabvuku to a small tool shed where ten children who lost both parents were living. The oldest was sixteen years old and was now the head of the family. She had no skills to enable her to earn a living for her large family and so she worked the streets to feed her young brothers and sisters.

We wanted to take all of them and give them food and a decent place to live. Their pleading eyes broke our hearts. But we had no place to care for all these ten children. We offered to care for five of them, but their sister’s heart could not bear to see her family split off. “We lost both parents and now we want to stay together,” she said.

They had no food and no furniture in their little “home,” but they had each other. This was a dilemma for us; all we cold do was supply them with enough food to last them a month or two! Before many days passed, the “head of the home” came to tell us the children were hungry, and requested that they “be taken to the people who gave them food.”

So we took the five youngest children in temporary quarters at Simbaredenga to provide them with food, shelter, and education. We decided right then to build an eight-bedroom home for them and 30 other orphans at Simbaredenga. The home would be named Sibaredenga Newstart Children’s Home (Simbaredenga means “Power From Heaven”).

Things started to happen quickly. Crest Breeders International donated twenty-five aces of land next to Simbaredenga SDA Primary and Secondary School. This will be sufficient to build three homes and still have enough for a small farm.

A group from Oregon Sunnyside Church, under the direction of Dr. Ron and Nancy Franzke, offered to bring 38 builders and students to put up the structure March 17 to 31. The foundation was completed in spite of heavy rains in Zimbabwe and a severe fuel shortage.

$50,000 US has been raised for the exterior construction of the first home, and this segment is almost complete. $5100 US has also been donated by World Medics for one of two boreholes needed to ensure we are not totally dependent on rainwater for the sustainability of the farm, which will be the source of food for the children.

It is our aim to mobilize one of the two wells for the SDA school next door. This will enable them to water their gardens much more cheaply than using municipal water. The cost of using municipal water has become so prohibitive that the school took an action to discontinue the gardens, as the cost of the water was more than the income generated by the garden. This is a big tragedy to the school as the sale of garden vegetables to local markets was subsidizing the tuition and keeping it at a level that people could afford.

The second borehole for the orphanage is needed to grow gardens which will provide food ad sustain the project. It is possible that enough maize and garden vegetables could be raised to not only feed the children, but to see a profit which will provide for the needs of the children, such as clothing, school tuition, and other expenses. With the water, the land, and a tractor, the Children’s Home can raise funds from the farm on an early basis and make the operation sustainable. Therefore, the provision of this borehole is crucial for the development of the program.

It was our original plan to build the exterior, interior, and furnishings for $50,000 US, but materials and transport in Zimbabwe have skyrocketed in the past few months, so that the total amount has been needed for the construction of the exterior of the Children’s Home. The interior will be completed when funds are on hand, for items such as screens, plastering, painting, cupboards, kitchen furnishings, furniture, and bathrooms, flooring, and laundry. It is estimated that $10,000 US will be needed for this purpose.

The Home is well underway to being self-sustaining. Twelve acres planted in maize will be ready to harvest in April and May. Maize is the staple diet in Zimbabwe. This will be enough to feed the children and the staff at the Children’s Home.

This home is the first of three being planned at Simbaredenga and will cater to children who are between the ages of three and seven. The second will cater to children between eight and twelve years of age, and the third for youth between twelve and sixteen years.

Each home will care for 40 children. It was decided to construct three separate structures rather than one large single dormitory in order to provide the children a homelike atmosphere. A wonderful Christian couple has been found to be the housemother and housefather, to help create a Christian atmosphere for these children.

The children will be educated in an SDA School from elementary through high school next door to the home. Students who excel in school will have opportunity to go to Solusi University. It is our aim to provide them not only with a home, but with a Christian education and invite them to join God’s remnant people.

Because of the magnitude of the orphan problem in Zimbabwe, it was decided to first accept only those who have lost both parents, or those children abandoned at birth. We have received requests from the hospital to admit children who have been abandoned, but we have not been able to accept them for lack of proper accommodation. We hope someday to be able to take these little ones who are born into a hostile environment and are not wanted.

The long-range plan is to establish a vocational school for these orphans, so that students will be able to make a living in areas such as farming, carpentry, building, auto mechanics, metal work, and sewing.

The construction of the exterior of the first home to house boys and girls aged three to six will be completed in April 2000. The interior will be completed as funds are available. The second home for boys and girls aged seven to twelve will be constructed in 2002. The third home for ages thirteen to sixteen will be built in 2004. Each home will have a wing of bedrooms on the right for girls and a wing of bedrooms on the left for boys separated by a common kitchen, dining, and living area.

A church structure will also be erected on the campus in the near future as a beacon of hope in the dark night.

This home is like a small lifeboat in a dark and stormy ocean of pain and suffering. One can easily conclude that the problem is too huge and the effort too small to make a difference, especially when we consider there are ten million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. However, even though we are not going to be able to help very many, our Lord Jesus said: “Because you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Understanding the Creation Week The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Age Of The Earth Evidence for a Young Universe Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolution of the Horse Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements Recombination of Chromosomes The Evidence of Things Not Seen Ernst Haeckel's Theories Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Variation and Classification Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Why So Many Species? Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Tyre and the Bible Archaeology Confirms the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
The Philosophers Talk Music Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Beat The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Rave Can You Feel the Music? Whose Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Ear The Last Great Contest – Worship Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny Philipp Melanchthon
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is Jesus God? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth The 70-Week Prophecy What Day Did Jesus Die? Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon Identifying the Antichrist The Second Beast of Revelation 13 The Final Confederacy Walking Through Daniel The Seven Plagues Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Sun Worship Babylonian Religion Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Wealth Redistribution The Charismatic Movement Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Paganism and Christmas Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit The New Age Movement Paganism in our Culture Secret Societies The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Signs and Wonders Revival and the "Power of God" What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Choosing the Books of the Bible Archaeology Confirms the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel Story Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? Salvation By Faith God's Plan to Eradicate Sin The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus