In December of 1998, Joel Yeary, a young boy of nine years old, shared “The World’s Greatest Discovery”, a speech he delivered for the Bank of America Speech Contest at Columbia Elementary. Joel was moved to tears two or three times as the impact of this speech came into his heart. The thought of losing someone he loved to a disease that there is no cure for was very hard to fathom for him.
The World’s Greatest Discovery
Joel Yeary – December 1998
Do you know what virus has infected over 29 million people world wide? Do you know that Africa, South East Asia, USA, Europe, and Latin America have in common? The AIDS Virus. But like cancer, a cure for AIDS has not been found yet. That’s why I believe finding a cure for AIDS will be the greatest discovery.
According to Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia, AIDS was first found in the U.S. in 1981. At that time there were 189 cases reported. We are not sure where the AIDS virus cam from, but some say it began in Central Africa. The number of people infected with the AIDS virus is expected to rise to over 100 million people by the year 2000.
One reason finding a cure for AIDS is so important is that in the last ten years, AIDS has spread to almost all areas of the world. According to Pastor Phillip Lee of His Way Out Ministries, the virus does not affect just one type of person. Men, women, and children in all areas of life have been infected with the virus that leads to AIDS.
They are looking for a cure so their lives can be spared.
Finding a cure for AIDS will also be good because the virus causes so much damage to the immune system that the body can get many infections that lead to death. An infection like pneumonia is less harmful to people with a normal immune system. But someone with AIDS can get pneumonia and die. A cure for AIDS will be noteworthy because the drugs used now only add a few months to a few years to the lives of AIDS victims, but they don’t cure them. According to Mankind Institute of Cancer and AIDS Research, the drugs used now are very toxic and have major side effects.
Even worse, the AIDS virus begins to resist the treatments after time. Scientists refer to AIDS as a “smart virus” that is always looking for a way to get around the treatments designed to stop it from continuing to the next stage. Sadly, the virus that leads to AIDS transforms itself so fast that right after a drug seems like it is working, scientists find themselves going back to the drawing-board to deal with a new strain.
Most importantly, people we know like basketball super star, Magic Johnson, and people we love like my friend, Pastor Phillip Lee, have the virus that leads to AIDS and will die if a cure is not found. Since time is running out for them, they are using the time they have left to help children, teens and adults think about the choices in their lives that lead them down the past to possible infection by this deadly virus.
When you look and see that over 100 million people in our world will have a disease that can give them only five years to live, I’m sure you will agree with me that finding a cure for AIDS will be the World’s Greatest Discovery.
Very soon, millions of people will be depending on this cure. It might be that your friend, or a person in your family, or even YOU will need this important discovery.
Today, AIDS remains a very serious threat to the quality and sanctify of life. If an AIDS patient has trusted you with the news of their AIDS diagnosis, it is an honor. It means they are willing to share the most vulnerable part of their lives with you and to take the risk that you might possibly reject them or expose them.
Your consistent devoted compassion is vitally important in their lives.
The on-going global crisis with regard to AIDS remains a call for the Church worldwide, and Church leaders in particular, to respond to the AIDS pandemic through a message of Christian hope and compassion. Christians, in particular, are uniquely qualified to bear witness to the world that the One who defeated death offers us the principles and the power to defeat AIDS.
“…Hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption.” (Psalm 130:7)
When the history of the 21st century is written, may it be said of Christians that we showed the love of Christ by leading the way in defeating AIDS.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, the I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther