ELCA Malaria Campaign

Make Malaria History

Updated resources!

Posted on October 31, 2011 by jessicanipp

This just in!

ELCA Malaria Campaign staff have updated the resources that are available on our Web site.  There are new and improved worship materials (including a new children’s bulletin insert!), resources for creating a campaign, and lots of activity ideas for all ages.

We’re so glad that you’re interested in the ELCA Malaria Campaign… and that you’re joining us and our African companions as we work together to make malaria history!

– Jessica Nipp
ELCA Malaria Campaign


$12,000 and counting: Word of Peace

Posted on October 20, 2011 by jessicanipp

Dain Swanson, Director of Youth Ministries at Word of Peace Lutheran Church, enthusiastically raises malaria awareness during the Rockin’ Rogers Day parade.

Word of Peace Lutheran Church in Rogers, MN, set an ambitious $12,000 fund-raising goal for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. With the creativity and generosity of the whole congregation, they met and even surpassed their goal!

Heather Swanson, a member of the Social Ministry Committee at Word of Peace, shares with us the many activities that contributed to their fund-raising and awareness-raising success:

  • During Lent, we handed out coin boxes with a malaria sticker, and encouraged each family in the congregation (about 1200 households) to give at least $10 to help fight malaria – we raised about $3000 during Lent, and money has continued to come in since then.
  • The confirmation and church schools put their Lenten and spring offerings toward malaria, as well – almost another $1000.
  •  We recognized World Malaria Day in May, by dedicating the Lenten offerings, and hearing from a woman in our congregation who experienced a bad case of malaria during her stint in the Peace Corps. She shared her story with the congregation, showed pictures, etc, which was very powerful, and helped “bring the experience home” for a lot of people. A special mosquito was created for this, and mosquito nets were hung from the crosses, as part of the decorations.
  •  Our VBS Pandamania offering did Nickels for Nets, and collected over $3000
  •  We handed out fly swatters (with our church’s name and a small note about the malaria campaign), during our community’s Rockin’ Rogers Days Parade – there was also info inviting the community to a free band concert at our church, which was a benefit for malaria.
  •  We had a free band concert in June, and raised about $600 for the malaria campaign by reaching out to the community and educating our town a little bit more.
  •  We invited the congregation members to host a summer BBQ, and use the ever-present reminder of being bitten by mosquitoes ourselves, to spread the word about malaria to their neighbors – and collect an offering from their guests (as willing), as well.
Thank you, Word of Peace Lutheran Church in Rogers, MN!

A Missionary’s Story

Posted on October 18, 2011 by jessicanipp

Here you can read a wonderful story by the Rev. Kristine Carlson, the granddaughter of Lutheran missionaries to Madagascar. In 1941, Kristine’s grandfather died of malaria during his missionary service.

This article was originally printed in the magazine “Lutheran Woman Today” and is now found on the ELCA Web site.

Book review: Lifeblood

Posted on October 17, 2011 by jessicanipp

Here’s a book review written by Mark Anderson, NE Iowa Synod. Thanks, Mark!

Perry, Alex.  Lifeblood: How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time. New York: Public Affairs, 2011.

Alex Perry is a journalist who shadowed philanthropist Ray Chambers, a Wall Street wizard who accumulated a vast fortune and then sought the most effective way to give it away. Chambers made his fortune as the former Chairman of Wesray Capital Corporation, a private equity holding company.  As Chambers studied global poverty he discovered that Malaria is often the cause of sickness, which lowers family income as well as national productivity including agricultural production.  Worse yet, while malaria breeds poverty, poverty boosts malaria (p.17).   Chambers invested a large portion of his own resources in the fight against malaria and then sought to leverage his contribution by inviting his financial peers to also contribute and by inviting his close friend, President Bush, to take up the cause.  There is even a mention of his meeting with “leaders of a Lutheran denomination in the US that maintained a wide missionary network on the continent and had also decided to raise funds for malaria” (p.90).  Through his efforts Chambers could clearly demonstrate that the use of nets, pesticide, and medication could dramatically reduce the instances of malaria and turn devastated communities into vibrant economic centers.  For this Chambers was named the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria.

The book is very affirming of the possibility of eradicating malaria from the globe in the next few years.  The author, Alex Perry, also makes a strong case for the involvement of big business in the fight against malaria as this disease cuts deep into corporate profits.  However, Perry is very critical NGO Aid groups and charities as being too in efficient and not entrepreneurial enough.  His admiration for the business community gives him amnesia on the history of corporate greed and its effects on the developing nations.  He is also blind to the inefficiencies and stagnation of even the most capitalistic of enterprises.  In my opinion, this would have been a much more useful book had Perry spent more time and malaria and less time with a political axe to grind.

Pastor Mark A. Anderson,
Assistant to the Bishop
Northeastern Iowa Synod


Tips for kids

Posted on October 12, 2011 by jessicanipp

“ One child under the age of five dies from malaria every 45 seconds in sub Saharan Africa.”

Pastor Mary Ann Bowman shared this statistic with her congregation, Bone Lake Lutheran Church in Northwest Wisconsin, when she returned from the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, FL at the end of August.  The ELCA voted to join other global partners to help eradicate malaria by the year 2015 by buying medicine and providing families with malaria nets and other initiatives.

The children in her congregation heard this statistic and took action.  They started by doing the math….that in their one hour of worship time at Bone Lake 80 children would have perished in Africa from malaria infected mosquitoes.  So what to do?  Make a difference!  The Sunday School children decided to work for “tips” on Sunday, September 24 to kick off their own malaria fund-raising campaign.  The youngest children got tips for not parking people’s cars, and for serving coffee and treats during fellowship time.  They helped people with their coats and escorted people to and from their cars.  They all had a great time and earned over $200 in tips….and that is enough money to purchase 20 mosquito nets.  Their goal is to raise enough money for 100 nets to send to African families in need.

What’s next?  The kids are planning a Kiddie Carnival for the community to raise more awareness of the malaria epidemic inAfrica.  The carnival will be at Bone Lake Lutheran Church on Sunday, October 9.  There will be face painting, crafts, relay and carnival games, cupcake walk, concessions…and lots of fun!  All proceeds will to the the ELCA’s Malaria campaign.  God’s work, our hands.

(Thanks to pastor Mary Ann Bowman for this article and for her leadership!)

– Jessica Nipp
ELCA Malaria Campagin

Net offering– Immanuel Lutheran Church

Posted on October 10, 2011 by jessicanipp

Michael Massa, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cresco, Iowa, shared this idea for ELCA Malaria Campaign fund-raising:

“The person who does our Sunday School openings / closings came up with this idea. The kids are supposed to save their coins during the week and then bring them in the net bag to Sunday School. The offering is collected in a large net bag that is intended to hold swimming suits / towels for the beach. The bag looks shiny in the photo, but is actually a white net very similar to the mosquito nets.”

Thanks for the idea, Immanuel and Pastor Michael!

Story People: A craft project

Posted on October 8, 2011 by jessicanipp

I wanted to share a resource that was developed by the Northwest Synod of Washington, for their Synod Assembly in 2011, to tell the stories of people whose lives are impacted by malaria.

Volunteers (mostly children) decorated cardboard cut-outs of people, and short vignettes were affixed to the back. Each Synod Assembly delegate received a “Story Person” on their chair. This action raised a lot of awareness for the ELCA Malaria Campaign!


Malaria Stories for “Story people”

  1. I am Moyenda. I am 8 years old, and I live in Malawi with my mother and my two sisters. Last year my littlest sister got malaria. The clinic is three days’ walk away from my village.  My sister was very sick, and she didn’t make it. My family is sad. I am afraid that my other sisters might get malaria.
  2. I am Joana. I live in Mozambique. I used to get malaria a lot— three or four times a year. It made me achy, and very tired. Now my family has a mosquito net, and we sleep underneath it. Since we got the mosquito net, no one in my family has had malaria.
  3. I am Oba. I live in Cameroon. I was just born, and I am healthy. While she was pregnant with me, my mother went to a clinic and got some medicine for malaria, so she was healthy during the pregnancy. I weighed 8 pounds when I was born! Everyone rejoiced because I was such a big, healthy baby.
  4. I am Nyasha. I live in Zimbabwe with my little sister Daya and my mother. The Lutheran Church is building a clinic in my village! We are very excited. Now when we feel sick, we can go to the doctors to find out whether it is malaria, and they can help us to feel better.
  5. I am Maria. My granddaughter Chikondi lives with me. She calls me “Agogo Maria.” That means grandmother. I praise God that my granddaughter is healthy—she has no fever. We have friends in America who care about us and help us to fight malaria inMalawi.
  6. I am Desta. I live in Ethiopia. Last year, my one-year-old son died of malaria. I was so sad, and I wanted to do something to help other families keep their children safe from malaria. Now I am part of a Village Health Team, and I teach others in my village what to do if they, or their children, get malaria. I use a bicycle to travel to other villages to teach them, too. Last week, we cleaned up many puddles of water where mosquitoes like to breed. Soon our villages will be safer for all the children.
  7. I am Musa. I am 9 years old, and I live in Tanzania. Last time I had malaria, I became very sick. I could not go to school, and I could not help my mother fetch water. My mother took me to the clinic, and the doctor gave me some medicine and a mosquito net for our family’s bed. Now I feel much better.
  8. I am Amani.  I live in Liberia. At school we learned about malaria from the teacher. One day my little sister Kendi started to shake and her skin became very hot. I told my parents what I learned in school, and they decided to take Kendi to the clinic. Now she is feeling much better.

Malaria Jeopardy, anyone?

Posted on October 6, 2011 by jessicanipp

I’m receiving a lot of inquiries about the ELCA Malaria Campaign  lately (hooray– keep ‘em coming, folks!).  One of the most popular questions is, “How can I engage my congregation in activities that would support the work of the ELCA Malaria Campaign?”

One great way to find ideas is to check out our Web site.

Here’s another idea: find a malaria survivor in your congregation and ask him or her to lead an adult forum. Who might have had malaria? Perhaps someone who comes from Africa, or a veteran who served overseas, or a senior (we had malaria in the US before the 1950’s!) or someone who has traveled extensively.  First-hand stories are often very powerful.

Another way to generate excitement in the congregation is to create intergenerational opportunities. How about a rousing game of Malaria Tag at a church picnic? Or an intergenerational Malaria Jeopardy tournament?

If you have other great ideas, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.