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Weathering the storm of AIDS with Right Choices

Ministry in Kenya teaches abstinence, advocates purity before marriage to combat continent's HIV epidemic.

NYERI, Kenya — In the U.S., few high school students relish the thought of a sex education class — much less one delivered in pouring rain. 

Greg Clodfelter with his wife, Sonia, and their daughter, LaurieAnn. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY LARENDA ROBERTS)
But in Kenya, youths didn’t let a downpour stop them from hearing about God’s plan for marriage from missionary Greg Clodfelter.

Clodfelter, a 47-year-old minister for the Queensview Church of Christ in Nyeri, and a team of Kenyan Christians comprise Right Choices, a ministry that teaches school children to combat East Africa’s AIDS epidemic through Bible-based principles of morality. The Andrews Church of Christ in Texas oversees the work.

Once, the team taught at a rural school with no dining hall or auditorium. “The whole school was outside in a field and it started to rain,” Clodfelter said. “‘Great,’ I thought. ‘Lecture’s over.’”

The students refused to let him go and crowded under a four-foot overhang against the wall of their building. Clodfelter completed his presentation in the rain. 

“They were so thirsty for the Word of God,” he said. “Living water!”

Making the Right Choices – Sex education in Kenya from Jake Lyell on Vimeo.

Clodfelter urges Kenyans to practice abstinence before marriage. Even if they’ve had intercourse, it’s not too late, he says, advising them to become virgins a second time. He cites Isaiah 1:18 from the Old Testament: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 1.6 million people infected. The country has about 1.1 million children orphaned by AIDS. Building more orphanages doesn’t address the root of the problem, Clodfelter says.

“What produces the orphan is the problem,” he says. “Something needs to change. Somebody needs to say something. And finally the church is making noise.”

Reporting, quotes provided by Larenda Roberts

Greg Clodfelter prays with a student at a school in Nairobi in 2014. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY LARENDA ROBERTS)

Filed under: Headlines - Secondary International

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