ELCA Malaria Campaign

Make Malaria History

Ann’s malaria story

Posted on September 29, 2011 by jessicanipp
The other day, we got a request from Ann Ashmore Clegg, who wanted to become a monthly donor to the ELCA Malaria Campaign. This is her story:
       “My father was a United Methodist pastor and when I was three years old, we moved to Aurora, NC, a small town near the coast and also close to marshes and inland waterways.   I contracted malaria when I was three or four years old.
         There were days when I would have high fever and aches and pains and then there were days I was “normal”.  I remember being yellow from taking quinine.  Antibiotics wouldn’t touch the illness, and I was told a few years back by a doctor friend that quinine was still the only thing that would help, not cure, people who have malaria.  I do not know about now.  If you are lucky enough to get rid of malaria, it’s a very gradual process.  I cannot give you a date when I was completely well.
         My mother had a teacher’s certificate, so when I felt like it, she would read to me or teach me how to print, etc.  When I was six, Dad asked to be moved upstate.  It was only one of two times that he asked to be moved.  I was very fortunate to have had the parents I did who knew a lot and were able to do what they could for me when I was sick.  Mother used to say about education that if you were fortunate to have a good education, you need to use that to help others less fortunate.
            I am fortunate to live in the USA where now I never hear of people getting malaria, but I want to do what I can to help those in other countries who are less fortunate.  I wish I could give more, but I am now 80 years old and living on Social Security.  I am happy to share and pray you get enough money to eradicate those mosquitoes that cause malaria as well as the marshes and waterways where they live.
         Thanks to all of you who are trying to fulfill that goal!  God bless you. “
- Ann Ashmore Clegg
Thank YOU, Ann!
- Jessica Nipp
ELCA Malaria Campaign

Malaria is not a project

Posted on September 28, 2011 by jessicanipp

(A guest post by Pastor Olin Sletto)

My family and I lived in the Central African Republic (CAR) for fifteen years.  The Lutheran Hospital in Garoua Boulai, Cameroon, just across the border, was only 60 kilometers away.  However, between our village and the hospital there were 6 government barriers.  On the CAR side, there was a barrier for the police, immigration and customs.  The same was true on the Cameroon side.

Normally, this short 60 kilometers took two hours to drive.  But the barrier people knew me and knew that when I came to a screeching halt, with the dirt flying high, and yelled that I had “an emergency,” they would quickly open the barrier knowing that I was taking someone to the hospital.

One day, the local dispensary sent a message that there was an emergency.  I rushed up there to hear from the Catholic Sister that a mother had walked in with a young girl (about 3) and she had malaria.  “If you don’t get her to the hospital within an hour, she will be dead,” said the Sister.  We tore off down the road, and I was driving like a crazy person.  A miracle happened, we got to the hospital in less than an hour, and the staff began to work feverishly on the girl who was now in a coma because the malaria had taken her blood.

They tried desperately to find a vein to get a little blood in order to find a match for a transfusion.  They even shaved her head and made cuts in her scalp.  Finally they did it.

While we were waiting, I asked the parents if she had been baptized.  They said that she had not yet been baptized, and they wanted that.  I asked the nurse to bring me a hospital basin with water.  We sang a verse of a hymn in Gbaya, and then I baptized her, “ne nin Daa, in Bem, in Saa Omi”.

The mother was a match.  But again, how could they find a vein in the little girl’s body for the transfusion to occur?  Knowing it was dangerous, but with no choice, they gave the transfusion through the jugular vein.  The little girl recovered.

When I checked on her the next morning, not having seen a “white man” before, she really screamed.  It was music to my ears!

They went home.

The following week she got malaria again, and she died.  The family came and asked me if I would bury her.  We wrapped her little body in a blanket, and placed her in the earth, “ne nin Daa, in Bem, in Saa Omi”.

Malaria is not a project.  It’s personal.

– The Rev. Olin Sletto, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Elgin, IL

Christ, Be Our Light!

Posted on September 27, 2011 by jessicanipp

Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City, IA turns 140 this year. (And considering that the state of Iowa is only 165 years old, that’s quite an achievement!)

To celebrate the blessings they’ve been given, the folks at Trinity are taking a year-long offering… and one recipient of that offering is the ELCA Malaria Campaign. They’ve set a lofty goal of $14,000 for this year– enough to buy 1,400 mosquito nets.

Trinity has come up with many creative ways to engage the congregation with the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Their senior pastor, Jim Magelssen, explains a few of their creative ideas:

“In August, the “Trinity Trek”, a walk/run with registration fees going to the Malaria Campaign, raised $900 dollars. On the day of the run, the registration table had a malaria net on display. Each person who walked or ran wore a net corsage.

We had a “Lunch and Learn,” at which we ate African food, and had a presentation about malaria given by a woman who grew up in Ghana.

During the announcements at an outdoor service this summer, our parish nurse came running into our midst, chased by one of our members dressed as a giant mosquito. Becky Elsbernd, our parish nurse, took refuge under the malaria net.”

…And those are just a few of the ways in which the ELCA Malaria Campaign has been woven into the fabric of parish life at Trinity this year!  Thanks be to God for the dedication and commitment of this congregation. And thanks to Trinity for their continued support.

— Jessica Nipp,
ELCA Malaria Campaign


A malaria vaccine?

Posted on September 26, 2011 by jessicanipp

The ELCA Malaria Campaign is working with our companions on various kinds of malaria programming– treatment, education and prevention. The “prevention” part would be a lot easier if there were an effective malaria vaccine available.

At the moment, there is a lot of research underway (some of which is funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), but there is not yet a vaccine.

That’s why I was so excited to read this article (thanks for the tip, Jeff Cours) from BBC News that details a new vaccine trial that took place in Burkino Faso. In the small study, vaccinated children showed a rate of infection three to four times lower than non-vaccinated children. It’s a start– a promising start. An expanded version of the vaccine trial has begun in Mali, with 800 participants.

This vaccine would be relatively cheap to produce and would be effective across the different strains of malaria.

We’re really at a turning point in history. Within years, malaria could be contained and overcome, in Africa and all over the world. And the ELCA and our companions will be among those who have worked together to bring about the life-saving change.

God’s work. Our hands.

Do you know your gift planner?

Posted on September 20, 2011 by jessicanipp

Did you know that the ELCA has 23 staff people whose job it is to assist ELCA members in making charitable planned gifts? They’re a wonderful resource for congregations wanting to create an endowment fund, or individuals wanting to leave a legacy.

The ELCA Malaria Campaign is a great opportunity for giving! Since our campaign is a short-term one ($15 million by 2015!), we’re very interested in “outright gifts”– cash gifts or gifts that can be converted immediately into cash (such as gifts of stocks or bonds).

Your friendly neighborhood ELCA Foundation Gift Planner can help you to make an outright gift to the ELCA Malaria Campaign. And who, you might wonder, is my friendly neighborhood gift planner? Well, check out this link to find out. Many areas of the ELCA are represented by a deployed gift planner, and if your area is not one of them, there are other ELCA staff who would be delighted to help you out!

– Jessica Nipp,
ELCA Malaria Campaign

The Blue Sweater

Posted on September 15, 2011 by jessicanipp

A book review:

Novogratz, Jacqueline. The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World.  Rodale Books: New York, 2009.

Novogratz takes us on her global journey as she travels the world, her vocations, and her self-understanding.  She writes about physical travel but she also travels from being a young international banker to a specialist in the organization and networking of NGOs which serve the poorest of the poor.  She also travels the intellectual road starting at being an aid giver to being one who accompanies others as they discover their own way out of poverty.  Of course I was most interested in chapter 15 where she addresses malaria.  She writes:

“…his hut was situated on a stamp-size patch of dirt that had a single stalk of maize growing outside his front door…At that time, he estimated his earning as a day laborer in nearby fields at about $6.00 a month, but he was quick to tell us that malaria often kept him from working ‘Sometimes it is so hard to move when you have malaria.  You just stay inside and shake and try to sleep off the terrible ache in your head.'”

Novogratz writes of the man getting a bed net and how over the next three years he is able to plant is own corn – enough to feed him for a year, and purchase luxury items like soap, matches, and bowls.

– by Mark Anderson, NE Iowa Synod

Posted by Jessica Nipp,
ELCA Malaria Campaign

ELCA Malaria Campaign

Posted on September 14, 2011 by jessicanipp

Every 45 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria. The death of even one child is one death too many.

Join the ELCA, our companion churches in Africa and  a whole global movement as we work together to make malaria history!

The goal of the ELCA Malaria Campaign is to raise $15 million by 2015. This is enough to fund malaria prevention, treatment and education programs in eleven countries in Africa. We’ll bring mosquito nets, water treatment, medicine, technologies and education to affected households and communities in Africa.  Together, we can overcome this disease… and make malaria history.

Looking for ways to bring the ELCA Malaria Campaign to your congregation? Find activities, worship materials and other great resources at our ELCA Malaria Campaign home page.

– Jessica Nipp,
ELCA Malaria Campaign

Join the Facebook group!

Posted on September 14, 2011 by jessicanipp

The Northeastern Iowa Synod of the ELCA has created a facebook group entitled “Friends of the ELCA Malaria Campaign.”

We encourage you to join this group to receive updates,  share your stories, learn what other congregations and synods are doing to support the ELCA Malaria Campaign, and discuss ideas with others.  See you there!

– Jessica Nipp,
ELCA Malaria Campaign