NASHVILLE, Tenn. Nov. 27, 2012  – As the threat of HIV rises in the Philippines, The Upper Room has translated a booklet offering prayers and meditations for persons living with HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases to include a prominent language of Filipinos.

Sarah Wilke, publisher of The Upper Room, a division of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), said translations of Prayers for Encouragement, now include Tagalog, which is spoken by 96 percent of the people in the Philippines.

“The Upper Room has a long history of responding to human suffering and need through prayer and spiritual encouragement,” Wilke said. “Our publishing partners in Manila are working with the United Methodist Young Adult Fellowship in the Philippine Central Conference to distribute the booklet free of charge through churches and other organizations.”

The Philippines is one of nine countries reporting a 25 percent increase in HIV/AIDS cases from 2001 to 2011, according to latest Report on Global AIDS Epidemic from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The Tagalog edition is the 19th world language translation of the booklet, which was first released worldwide by The Upper Room in 2006.

Rev. Donald Messer, chairperson of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, suggested Prayers for Encouragement after noticing battered, dated copies of The Upper Room daily devotional guide in a waiting room of Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya.

The 32-page booklet is filled with comforting meditations, many written by people living with HIV or AIDS. They are available in packages of 20 and are often used as personal and group devotions or in services for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 each year. Some congregations also leave stacks of Prayers for Encouragement in hospitals or in lobbies of service organizations working with persons living with HIV.

Messer believes it is extremely important to have many translations of the resource.

“HIV and AIDS is a global, not a regional disease. Whether you speak Arabic, English, Kiswahili or Tagalog, you are faced with HIV,” Messer said. “This is a global publication proclaiming a global God who cares for all the world’s people.”

Wilke said the booklet provides an alternative resource for increasing awareness about the HIV/AIDs situation in the Philippines, while offering care to people living with great uncertainty and fear.

The Upper Room is a global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual and prayer life of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully. Learn more about Prayers for Encouragement or purchase copies at

The Tagalog edition, along with the other non-English language editions, is funded by friends and supporters of The Upper Room and the Center for the Church and Global AIDS. For more information, contact Sherry Elliott, Executive Director of Interpretation and Development for The Upper Room at or 615-340-7520.

GBOD’s mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, GBOD is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. Visit for more information or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.

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