Caring for the whole person
Physical Health – While health care has made strides, South Africa still suffers from astronomically high HIV rates, high infant mortality rates, and malnutrition. 45% of the deaths in children before the age of five in this region are contributed malnutrition of either the child or mother, or both. In rural areas, clinics are often dealing with limited medication and staff, so the needs of the area are not met. Through medical outreaches, we reach the underserved in these areas with screening programs for HIV and other life-threatening diseases and basic medical services.
Infant mortality rates are much higher South Africa than anywhere else in the world. This rate (noted in the graph below) indicates deaths of children before they reach their 5th birthday. Kristin discovered this personally just talking with ladies in the nursery at church. Out of the six mothers in the room, Kristin was the only one who had not lost a child before the age of five. A couple of the ladies had lost more than one child. Many of these deaths are preventable with adequate pre-and post-natal care of the mother and infant, vaccinations and education regarding care of an infant. 45% of these deaths are contributed to malnutrition of either the child or mother, or both.
Family Health – Poverty and lack of job opportunities impacts families greatly. Parents must leave children in the care of grandparents or other relatives to find work far from home. Very often, the fathers are not involved in the children’s lives creating single mothers who must struggle to provide for the family and care for their children.
Spiritual Health – The local church is the hope of the world and so we support local churches and pastors in the areas where we serve. Training pastors and leaders is key to helping churches move away from the mixing of traditional religions that involve ancestry worship and Christianity. This mix results in incorrect doctrine and teaching resulting in people unable to live victorious Christian lives. First Love Ministries provides solid Bible teaching to pastors and leaders, as well as, supporting churches by speaking at conferences and church meetings.