By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s a village in the southern African country of Namibia that is home to nearly 60 children orphaned when their parents were killed by the AIDS virus.

As Mike Schuh reports, that village is able to function thanks to the generosity of a church in Bel Air.

Of the 34 million people worldwide with AIDS, nearly 70 percent live in or near Namibia. So there are a lot of orphans just like the ones that Mount Zion United Methodist Church sponsors.

“These kids, just, they grab your heart,” says volunteer Mark Rowlins. “I mean, they have not much of anything but they show the love of God… It’s changed my life.”

Mount Zion is one of three churches — two in Maryland and one in Ohio — that fund the Children of Zion Orphanage and School in Namibia.

It costs a lot to keep the operation going, and the church is throwing their first ever fundraising banquet.

“So we need the continued funding for these children to continue as we are, and we need funding to expand,” says Lisa McLaughlin, executive director of Children of Zion.

The fundraiser will be held November 2 at the Waters Edge Events Center in Belcamp. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 410-836-2121.

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