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    Make Malaria History

    Taking a bite out of malaria

    Posted on October 27, 2012 by jessicanipp

    Many thanks to Pastor Kathleen Wohlers for sharing this article with us.

    Youth from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wilton, WI help “take a bite out of malaria!”

    In the rolling hills of Wisconsin, confirmation youth are assisting God’s people living thousands of miles away who struggle every day with a disease that we have trouble imagining.

    The youth of the East Conference in the La Crosse Area Synod joined together September 23, 2012, to “Walk for Malaria” for their Con-Serve (confirmation service event).

    Sponsors were secured and the youth walked 5 miles on a beautiful fall day, raising a total of $1,800.00 to help in the ELCA’s campaign to eliminate deaths from malaria in Africa. Many families will be encouraged and many children will survive because a couple dozen youth took a Sunday afternoon walk!

    Great Malaria Sermon!

    Posted on October 26, 2012 by jessicanipp

    Every Sunday morning, many fabulous sermons are preached in ELCA congregations.  I’d like to share one of them with you today.

    Our churchwide colleague Matt Bishop, who works with the Diakonia team in ELCA Global Mission, was a guest preacher at Christ Lutheran Church in Belvidere, IL this past Sunday. He preached about the realities of malaria in the world and the response of ELCA Malaria Campaign.  At the end of Matt’s sermon, I wanted to stand up and cheer! I hope you feel the same.

    Listen to Matt’s fabulous sermon here.

    Thanks to Matt Bishop, for sharing his sermon with us, and to Christ Lutheran Church for their commitment to the ELCA Malaria Campaign and their dedication to sharing sermons with everyone via their website.

    Mosquito net distribution in Mozambique

    Posted on October 19, 2012 by jessicanipp

    A few days ago, we lifted up the great work being done by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mozambique (IELM) in the area of malaria education.

    On their Facebook page today, the IELM shared another great picture, and I wanted to make sure you all saw it.  It’s a photo of another aspect of their work– the distribution of long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

    We rejoice in the fantastic work that’s being done by our companions in Mozambique! And we rejoice in the generosity of ELCA donors– your gifts make this work possible.

    “God the healer is up to something in this place”

    Posted on October 17, 2012 by jessicanipp

    Below are excerpts from a sermon preached at our chapel service at the Lutheran Center in Chicago today by the Rev. Wyvetta Bullock, ELCA Executive for Administration. We express our deepest thanks to Rev. Bullock for allowing us to share parts of that sermon and her photo of Joyce with you!

    As we remember St. Luke today, we turn our attention to God’s healing power and God’s call to us to proclaim God’s love, mercy, and healing to those who are hurting. 

    Last July, I traveled to Tanzania.  While there I had the opportunity to attend Sunday worship at a local parish just outside Arusha.   The building was brimming with people.  More than half were school age children. […] When their pastor, Pastor Anna Makayo, finished her sermon the whole assembly joined in singing a cappella.  The children’s voices added a sweet sound of innocence and joy.   

    Pastor Jack Horner, Director for Evangelical Mission in the Metro New York Synod, and I were worshipping at Ngaruma Parish in the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.   This parish is a partner with us and Lutheran World Relief to fight malaria.  Pastor Anna is a known, strong supporter of the anti- malaria campaign. 

    The Sunday we worshipped, the children performed a drama that provided education about using bed nets and seeking diagnosis and treatment for malaria.  The whole morning was filled with sights and sounds of children laughing, singing, and moving about the worship space.

    Joyce of Ngaruma Parish, Northern Diocese, Tanzania

    One young girl especially caught my eye. Her name is Joyce.  Joyce’s smile left me with a feeling of hope and expectancy.   Pastor Horner and I were worshipping at Joyce’s parish because we wanted to connect with our partners in the ELCT about preventing, treating, and stopping malaria. 

    We, along with two other people, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness.  We spoke with our guides, who also were Lutheran, about their personal experience with malaria.  They told us that all of their families had been touched by malaria and they, too, had been treated for malaria.  Some of them multiple times. 

    Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria.   One might be tempted to ask, where is God when so many children are suffering and dying from a preventable, curable disease?

    When we want to know if God cares, we cannot only fix our eyes on the problems or cast our gaze at the people in pain.  We must lift our sight to the cross.  When we want to know where God is active in the world, we cannot only hear the cry of those suffering; we must tune our ears to listen to the voice of Jesus. 

    As I climbed Kilimanjaro, I was inspired and encouraged to keep climbing to the summit and peak by remembering the face of Wil Herzfeld.   Wil was a dear colleague and friend who died several years ago from malaria that he contracted while traveling in Africa.  I remembered Wil’s face and the face of children like Joyce who represent the millions of children alive and those yet to be born in Africa. 

    Wil was pushing me and Joyce and the children were pulling me up the mountain 19,340 feet to the top.   They were witnesses to me that we need to be active and engaged in the fight against malaria.   They were witnesses to me that we need to stand on God’s promises to heal and deliver–for ourselves and the world God so loves.

    Because God cares, we can care.  Because God has chosen us to be witnesses, we can stand with our sisters and brothers in Africa and around the world and we say “no” to diseases of poverty like malaria. 

    The night before we started for the summit and peak of Kilimanjaro, I stepped out of my tent.  The only light in the camp at that time was from my head lamp; but the sky, the sky was filled with stars in the amount I had never seen before.  As I looked at the stars, I realized that I did not need to look up to see them; I only needed to look out. 

    The phrase that came to mind was, “joy unspeakable.”  And I thought, the universe is an awesome place. As I watched the children at Ngaruma Parish as they learned about preventing and treating malaria, and I saw the smile on Joyce’s face and heard the laughter and joy of the children as they heard about people like us who are partners to help them, I thought—God, the healer, is up to something in this place; and how blessed we are to be part of it.

    What a privilege it is to be chosen to be a witness to God’s awesome love and grace!  Thanks be to God.

    Malaria Education in Mozambique

    Posted on October 15, 2012 by allisonbeebe

    Malaria programming is well underway in the Igreja Evangélica Luterana De Moçambique (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mozambique)! The photo below shows some drawings that are used for malaria education sessions in Namina, Mozambique. In the picture, a Namina community member looks over the drawings to learn how to prevent and control malaria. If you look closely, you’ll see several different prevention and treatment techniques.

    A community member from Namina, Mozambique learns how to prevent and treat malaria.

    One drawing shows a woman who is pregnant and taking a dose of medication. This is representative of Intermittent Preventative Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTP), which helps protect women from getting malaria while pregnant. Expectant mothers are among those at greatest risk of getting malaria. Another drawing depicts people spraying insecticides on areas where mosquitos like to linger. A number of photos show people sleeping under bed nets, so they are protected from mosquitos while they rest. There are also images of people shown caring for their nets by washing them. One photo depicts a man filling in potholes, to prevent mosquitos from breeding in puddles. Eliminating areas of standing water is an easy way to reduce the mosquito population. What an array of anti-malaria tactics!

    The educational drawings encourage a holistic approach to fighting malaria. There is not one sole solution, but there are several ways in which a community can reduce the incidence of malaria. The ELCA Malaria Campaign supports comprehensive programming which focuses on prevention, education and treatment, just like these drawings from Mozambique suggest!

    Iowa Campers Raise Money for ELCA Malaria Campaign

    Posted on October 8, 2012 by jessicanipp

    This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of STAR, the newsletter of the Northeastern Iowa synod. Thanks to synod staff person Marcia Hahn for sharing it with us!

    Fewer mosquitoes may have been around Iowa this summer due to the dry weather, but they were still a topic of conversation at two Northeastern Iowa Bible camps.

    Campfire at Camp Ewalu, Strawberry Point, IA.

    Counselors at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp and Camp Ewalu presented weekly talks to their summer campers about the devastation caused by mosquitoes when they spread malaria to families in Africa and other developing countries. The counselors invited the youth to help fight malaria with a donation to the ELCA Malaria Campaign. By the end of camping season, the two outdoor ministries had raised more than $5,000 for the campaign-$539.34 from Riverside and $4,890.77 from Camp Ewalu.

    “The counselors invested in it first,” says Lynette Matter, Camp Ewalu summer program director. The counselors decided to set an example by having a weekly amount deducted from their paychecks to support the campaign. The counselors then took their message to the youth with a challenge for them to give toward a weekly goal, based on the number of campers.

     The youth were encouraged to donate when they stopped at the canteen to buy treats. For incentive, some of the Camp Ewalu counselors offered to dye their hair or shave their heads if the weekly goal was met. One “camp grandpa” dyed his hair rainbow color and another counselor from Africa dyed his hair blond. He also shared stories about his own experience of having had malaria while growing up.

    This poster at Riverside Bible Camp, Story City, IA, taught campers about the work of the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

    Riverside counselors developed a PowerPoint presentation about malaria and presented it to the campers during their Tuesday lunch. Their message encouraged the youth to give a portion of their camp store money toward the ELCA Malaria Campaign. In addition, they asked campers to keep those affected by malaria in their prayers.

    “This was a ministry opportunity and a giving opportunity,” says Chris Dahl, Riverside associate program coordinator.

    Both camps typically designate summer offerings toward special projects. Dahl and Matter say that the malaria campaign was a good project because many of the youth were already familiar with it through fundraising efforts in their home churches.

    Sorenson Grant inspires Wartburg College

    Posted on October 4, 2012 by jessicanipp

    Kelsey Nulph, a third-year student at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, leads the Wartburg Malaria Initiative, a one-year campus project sponsored by an ELCA Malaria Campaign Sorenson Grant.  The Initiative plans to educate Wartburg students, faculty and staff about the realities of malaria in our world and raise $35,000 to support the work of the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

    Kelsey Nulph, coordinator of the Wartburg Malaria Initiative, with some of the coin-collecting jars that have been decorated by Wartburg students.

    “Responding to [Christ’s] call and joining hands to speak out against malaria connects not only to our call as disciples of Christ,” says Kelsey, “but also correlates directly to Wartburg College’s mission statement.” That mission statement proclaims that “Wartburg College is dedicated to challenging and nurturing students for lives of leadership and service as a spirited expression of their faith and learning.”

    Kelsey exemplifies the leadership, service and faith that Wartburg’s mission statement underscores.  Under her leadership, the Wartburg Malaria Initiative will mobilize hundreds of student volunteers to connect with every student organization on campus (there are 180), have a presence at every Wartburg athletic event this year, and connect with the larger Wartburg community through congregational youth work, Homecoming and Alumni Weekend service events, and an alumni-studded benefit concert in March.

    The year-long, campus-wide project is co-sponsored by Wartburg’s Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry, the Center for Community Engagement, Alumni/Parent Relations and the Student Athletic Council.

    Kelsey and the Wartburg Malaria Initiative were recently featured on Iowa television station KWWL.  Watch the interview here– I hope you’ll be as inspired as I was by the great work being done at Wartburg!

    “I am a Survivor”

    Posted on October 2, 2012 by jessicanipp

    Wayne Weller is a member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MN.  He and his wife Irene have been married for 67 years. Many thanks to Wayne for sharing his malaria survival story!

    At age 91, I’m sitting here wondering what I can say that will impress others about the seriousness of malaria. I read all the ELCA hoopla on helping kids fight this dreadful malady, but I haven’t read anything about the effects on your body caused by a little mosquito bite.

    Wayne Weller, malaria survivor

    I don’t remember the mosquito, but I do remember sitting on a log near our tent on Guadalcanal during WWII at noon time with hot sun beating down on my head and knocking me off the log. My buddies took me into the tent and threw me on the cot. I recovered. Two days later on the noon to 6:00 pm watch I was beginning to sweat, then a headache, and then body aches that became unbearable, then forgetting all.

    At the end of my watch my buddies took me a mile or so to sick bay in a Quonset hut. No doctor. Two medics-in-training took me and weighed me – 142 lbs. They took my temperature – 106 degrees. They looked for rubbing alcohol or something to cool me, but didn’t find any. They gave me a cold-water bath. No good. I was sweating, then had chills, then a severe headache like it had been wrapped with a thick metal band that was tightened.

    They fed me and put me to bed. I was treated with quinine, the only treatment that did any good. I kept asking for more blankets. During the night I had dry heaves so went outside to the latrine and crawled back to bed. I woke up at 6:00 am and couldn’t get up. The medics got me up to a scale and I weighed 114 lbs. I lost 28 lbs. in 12 hours. I stayed there 11 days with fever and chills every other day. But, I AM A SURVIVOR!

    I had seven more malaria attacks, one being on our wedding day, the last one in 1950. Malaria seriously affected my immune system and the bug remains with me yet today.