As Minnesotans, we are accustomed to the annoying sound of mosquitoes on a warm evening. Thankfully, most of our mosquitoes are simply a nuisance. However, imagine you are the parent of a young child in sub-Saharan Africa and that mosquito buzzing around your child is carrying malaria. Imagine that every 45 seconds a child in Africa dies from malaria.
On Sunday, October 2, Hennepin Church launched an Imagine No Malaria campaign, representing a partnership with Methodist churches across Minnesota and the United States.
During the next few months, churches are pledging to save 10 lives per regular church attendee. Major donors are providing a dollar to dollar match in 2011 (up to $600,000) which means each church could save 20 lives per church attendee. The Minnesota Annual Conference has been asked to raise $1.2 million to save 180,000 lives. Hennepin is committed to pledging $56,000 by June 2012 with funds being raised by 2015. Or sooner!
The United Methodist Church was a founding partner in Nothing But Nets several years ago. This effort mobilized churches and groups throughout the UMC to contribute more than $1.7 million in less than a year. Imagine No Malaria is the next step in the process to end malaria. The General Board of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is joining with key partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, and the Red Cross to take this commitment to the next level. The goal is to eliminate malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015. The 4-part plan includes: Prevention, Treatment, Education and Communication.
Over the next weeks and months, the Imagine No Malaria steering committee at Hennepin will work with our adult, children’s and youth groups to create a variety of awareness and fundraising events and projects. Look for ongoing updates on the Hennepin web site, the Sunday Spire and the !nSpire newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about how to get involved, please contact Leah Rosso, Ben Wittrey, Bonnie Carlson-Green, Jody Standke, or Jennifer Hipple.
Imagine No Malaria allows us to extend Hennepin’s sense of Beloved Community to our brothers and sisters in Africa. With your help, malaria is preventable, treatable, and beatable. You can make a difference.