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    Make Malaria History

    Caring Campers Campaign at Crossways

    Posted on July 25, 2013 by allisonbeebe
    Mission Awareness at Pine Lake Camp

    Campers participate in a Mission Awareness activity at Pine Lake Camp

    It is easy to identify with the ELCA Malaria Campaign when you encounter mosquitoes in the woods of Wisconsin. Crossways Camping Ministries found this to be true in the summer of 2012 when the ELCA Malaria Campaign was the focus of their “Mission Awareness” project.

    Crossways is made up of three sites across the state of Wisconsin.  Between all 3 sites they host about 1,800 youth campers each summer. They also host about 20 day camps and a handful of family camps. “With just the campers on site and day campers last summer I’d estimate over 2,300 campers were involved in the ELCA Malaria Campaign through Crossways Camps,” said Kenzie Kauth, Registrar and Marketing Manager at Crossways. Each summer, Crossways selects a cause from ELCA Good Gifts to focus on in hopes of raising both awareness and funds. “Our synod (East Central Synod of Wisconsin) was a pilot synod for the Malaria Campaign, so it was an easy choice. There were many people fired-up about it in our synod already.”  

    Campers enjoying Mission Awareness time

    Campers enjoying Mission Awareness time

    Stacy Mallette, Summer Program Director at Pine Lake Camp, explains the many ways that campers were engaged with the mission awareness focus. “At some point throughout the week, each counselor leads the campers in ‘Mission Awareness’.  This usually includes some educational and fun activities related to the year’s focus.  For example, last summer we did some “Fact or Myth” trivia about malaria, we showed them a mosquito net, we had an activity where campers shook hands with each other, but one had glitter on their hand which spread to the others, and discussed how mosquitoes can spread malaria from person to person, and a couple of counselors shared their personal experience with malaria.” Each summer, Crossways hosts some international counselors from South Africa, several of whom have had malaria, and shared their stories with the campers.

     At the end of the week, campers had the opportunity to donate some of their spending money from the camp canteen to the Malaria Campaign. “It’s really neat to see campers choose to be generous,” said Stacy. “I once had a camper who wanted to buy a t-shirt but told me that they would donate it instead because the price of the t-shirt could buy a mosquito net.

    Mission Awareness at Pine Lake Camp

    Pine Lake campers discuss malaria

    Over the course of the 2012 summer, Crossways Camping Ministry raised over $10,000 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. What inspired such a huge response? Stacy elaborates, “I think there were a couple factors.  First of all, we had an empathy factor because we have quite a few mosquitoes at camp which made the campaign very real and tangible. Secondly, the campers who had a chance to hear from a counselor who had experienced malaria first-hand seemed to be extra generous, because they felt that they were helping someone they could relate to.”

     Camps are often an important part of spiritual growth and church participation in youth. By focusing on a mission project, it gives campers an opportunity to engage in the work of their church even after they go home.Over the last 9 years the campers have raised over $110,000 – which is amazing!  The time they spend on the mission project each week has a great impact on the campers and the impact is felt wider than just their financial contributions,” says Kenzie, “We’ve heard many stories of campers going home fired up to raise awareness and support in their churches and communities – which is even more amazing!”

    Thanks Crossways Camping Ministries for all the ways you educate, engage and care for our youth! Our wider church is strengthened because of your good work. Thanks especially to Kenzie and Stacy, for providing the content and pictures for this post.

    Malaria Program Dashboard

    Posted on July 18, 2013 by jessicanipp

    Greetings, friends! I’d like to share with you some more detailed information about how our malaria programs work “on the ground.”  I am proud to be a staff member of the ELCA Malaria Campaign, because I get to witness the amazing generosity of our church members, and I get to witness the ways in which our companions in Africa work hard to leverage the money we raise into effective and life-changing malaria programs.

    Dashboard picture2Malaria is an urgent and devastating disease that requires immediate intervention.  Working alongside our Lutheran companions in Africa, the ELCA is responding to this urgent need with well-structured and efficient malaria programming. Programs funded by the ELCA Malaria Campaign are taking place in 11 (soon to be 12) countries in Africa. Programs are in various stages of development, and many are already making a life-changing difference in their communities. 

    In order to best accompany our companions over the duration of their malaria programs, ELCA technical staff work together with our partners throughout the phases of program development, implementation and evaluation.  To increase program efficiency, the Lutheran churches and organizations that are running these malaria programs complete several planning activities prior to implementing the full malaria program:

    • Each program begins with a concept note that details the goals and objectives of the program.
    • After the concept note is accepted, our companions develop a full malaria strategy in the form of a program proposal
    • This proposal is informed by a thorough baseline community survey that help to identify the particular assets and growing edges in each community.  (Health programs that are appropriate to each context and targeted to a community’s identified needs and strengths have a far higher success rate.) 
    • cooperation agreement with the ELCA, which includes program plans and budget, is then finalized.  
    • Staff members are recruited locally to fill program positions. 
    • In the initial stages of program implementation,  ELCA technical staff work with our companions to make sure that the church bodies are equipped to run a malaria program on a national scale, using widely-accepted best practices. This enables our companions to train church staff on all levels, both in malaria prevention and control and also in other areas necessary for program implementation (for example, financial records and bookkeeping). The technical term for this training and equipping is “organizational capacity building“.
    • Before the malaria program is launched,  a series of meetings are held with key stakeholders. These meetings, which include church, community and civil leadership, serve to educate and create a sense of ownership among the members of the community in which the program will be implemented.
    • After these preparations,  the country program is officially launched.  Some country programs begin with “pilot programs” in specific areas; others are rolled out in all program areas simultaneously.  
    • Then the malaria program is underway!  
    • Our technical staff maintain relationships with our companions throughout the programming phases.  When we reach the end of the planned programming, an extensive program evaluation will occur, and will include suggestions for how to move forward. We expect that some of our partners will elect to continue their malaria programming past the 2015 ELCA Malaria Campaign end date.  In that event, programming will likely continue under the auspices of ELCA World Hunger. In many places, malaria work will become more integrated with the other health-related work happening in a country.

    To download the full Malaria Program Dashboard representing the progress of all 12 country programs (as of July 2013), click here.

    - Jessica Nipp Hacker, ELCA Malaria Campaign Coordinator

    Children of Rejoice!/Omaha Lead Their Malaria Effort

    Posted on July 17, 2013 by allisonbeebe
    Children from Rejoice! Lutheran Church in Omaha pose with their adopted mosquitoes

    Children from Rejoice! Lutheran Church in Omaha pose with their adopted mosquitoes.

    This article appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Your Nebraska Lutheran magazine, a publication of the Nebraska synod. Many thanks to Stephanie Lusienski, who serves as the Nebraska synod coordinator for the ELCA Malaria Campaign, and pointed us to this story.

    When it came to time for Rejoice! Lutheran Church in Omaha to engage in the ELCA Malaria Campaign, they turned to the children to lead them.

    During an Advent 2012 family event, the children of Rejoice! made 200 mosquito bodies, using a mosquito craft project they found online at simplecraftskids.com.

    Then, after Christmas, their Sunday School students each made two mosquitos. They chose one to take home and gave one to the “Mosquito Adoption Station.” The children celebrated the day with resources from the ELCA Malaria Campaign Kit. The older children played a card game and the younger children played “catch a mosquito” using mosquito netting as a bag. The children took home a “children’s bulletin” including information from the Malaria Project Resource Kit.

    In February, the Rejoice! Sunday School staff and students created displays, manned the “Mosquito Adoption Station,” and gave temple talks during worship to inform the congregation about the project. They used a mosquito-netting bag to collect donations. They also used the Malaria Jeopardy game from the ELCA Malaria Campaign Kit as a learning tool.

    The youngest children in the church asked for the partnership of the rest of the Rejoice! congregation. The Mosquito Adoption Program became an exciting time of “hands on” working, learning and doing ministry together to make a difference for others.

    By the end of the project, 287 mosquitos had been “adopted” and Rejoice! raised $4,302 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

    The ELCA, through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, is joining hands with 11 Lutheran church bodies in Africa and becoming part of an historic global movement to say that no one should die of a disease that is both preventable and treatable. The ELCA Malaria Campaign has committed to raise $15 million to help prevent, treat and educate communities in Africa about malaria and eliminate deaths from this disease for good.

    Many Nebraska Synod congregations have already begun to support the efforts of the ELCA Malaria Campaign. This coming year, the Synod is highlighting the work of the campaign and renewing its support.

    For more information about the ELCA Malaria Campaign, go to www.elca.org/malaria.

    This story from Rejoice! is just a snapshot of creative, successful efforts from across the country! How has your congregation been involved? Stories can be submitted to allison.beebe@elca.org.

    Become a Monthly Partner!

    Posted on July 16, 2013 by jessicanipp
    donate-monthly

    There are so many advantages– become a monthly partner with the ELCA Malaria Campaign!

    Here it is– the moment you have all been waiting for!

    We are thrilled to offer our supporters the opportunity to give monthly to the ELCA Malaria Campaign (and to other ELCA ministries, such as ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response).

    Here are my TOP TEN reasons to give monthly!

    1. It’s really easy. Sign-up only takes about 5 minutes, and you can do it online at www.elca.org/monthlypartners or by phone at 800-635-3522, ext. 2638.
    2.  If you are a sometimes-forgetful person (like me), or if your schedule gets complicated at times (like mine), the Monthly Partners program makes it easy to give consistently. You’ll never forget to write out the check or send in the envelope.
    3. We give you options! You can choose to give via credit card or straight from your bank account (to save us the credit card processing fees).
    4. For a non-profit ministry that depends on donations, it’s wonderful to know that a certain amount of money will be coming in each month from our Monthly Partners. We can count on you
    5. Having a cadre of monthly givers makes us a stronger organization with lower overhead costs.  Sending out mailings seeking donations is an expense for us.  Donors who have signed up to give monthly lower those costs. That means even more money going to the mission of overcoming malaria!
    6. If you’re a monthly giver, we can concentrate on thanking you and updating you on our ongoing programming– rather than soliciting you for gifts.
    7. Giving monthly is a way of giving your “first fruits” of your paycheck back to God’s mission in the world. It’s a way to live out the ELCA’s mission of “God’s Work. Our Hands” with an intentional, personal commitment.
    8. Giving monthly is an intentional commitment– but it’s not set in stone.  If you want to change the amount of your gift, or end your monthly giving, you can do so at any time by calling 800-635-3522, ext. 2638.
    9. Because a child in Africa dies every 60 seconds from malaria.  And we believe that no one should die of a disease that’s preventable and treatable.
    10. The ELCA Malaria Campaign is one of the best causes around. Through your donations, our Lutheran sisters and brothers in Africa are empowered to design and implement malaria programs that are already changing lives.  Communities are already being impacted by the educaiton, prevention and treatment resources that are being shared by ELCA-sponsored campaigns.

    Will you join me in giving monthly to the ELCA Malaria Campaign?

    If you have any questions about our Monthly Giving program, please contact our colleague Krystal McClinton at krystal.mcclinton@elca.org or  800-635-3522, ext. 2638.

    Thanks!  Jessica Nipp Hacker, Coordinator, ELCA Malaria Campaign

    “We are all meant to shine”

    Posted on July 12, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Iowa high school student, Scott Van Daalen shares his reflections on his adventures "Running From Malaria."

    Iowa high school student, Scott Van Daalen shares his reflections on his adventures “Running From Malaria.”

    Scott Van Daalen is one of three Iowa high-school students who ran across the state this summer to raise money and awareness for the ELCA Malaria Campaign and Imagine No Malaria, the malaria camapign of the United Methodist Church. Many thanks to Scott for sharing these wonderful reflections! You can read more about Scott and his teammates, Brad Wylam ad Ethan Wise, here.

    It starts with an idea. This is how everything begins. This one, however, was ridiculous; a crazy idea hatched in the minds of three 17-year-olds. The idea was to run across Iowa this summer. It seemed like such a great way to chase adventure. But could there be something more to it than just adventure? It was then that we realized we could use this run as a symbol for something, something much bigger than ourselves. We decided we should consult an adult before we went head over heels planning the run. Conveniently, Ethan’s mom, Pastor Deborah Wise, happened to come downstairs. After we ran the idea past her, she pointed out to us that both the ELCA and United Methodist Church (UMC) were focusing on malaria.

    A run to raise awareness for malaria sounded perfect, since we could include both the Lutheran and Methodist church [note: two Running From Malaria teammates are ELCA Lutherans and one is United Methodist]. After a well-thought-through 30-minute session with a map of Iowa, we had our route and stops planned. Deborah was kind enough to arrange a meeting for with us with Katie Dawson, the Iowa Coordinator of the Imagine No Malaria campaign (the United Methodist Church’s malaria campaign). After our successful meeting with Katie Dawson, we were excited and committed to Running from Malaria. [Note: they also had wonderful encouragement from Wartburg College students and ELCA Northeastern Iowa Synod staff!] Since then, we haven’t looked back.

    Brad Wylam and Ethan Wise arrive at the finish line of their three-week adventure.

    Brad Wylam and Ethan Wise arrive at the finish line of their three-week adventure.

    Running from Malaria was an absolutely incredible experience.  It was truly amazing to be advocates for people impacted by this preventable and curable disease.  Every single day, we woke up early (at least early for three teenagers during summer) and started the day running.  The average day was about 15 miles.  Once we finished the day’s running, the fun started.  We would get into the towns, and we were able to speak to many people about malaria.  In almost every town, we were able to speak to local media, to increase the number of people that we reached.  This was definitely our 15 minutes of fame.  People often speak of the small-town Iowa friendliness.  We can confirm that!  All of our hosts were incredible, whether it was taking us out for lunch, paying for us to go see a movie, or just letting us sleep in their beds!

    I was told to use this blog post to brag about our accomplishments of the run, but that doesn’t seem very fitting.  Instead I want to brag about our awesome God.  We have a God that does the unthinkable.  He worked through three average teenagers.  We were truly able to do God’s work with our hands and feet.  Doing his work, we were able to reach hundreds of people and tell them about malaria.  We also we able to raise approximately $15,000!  I repeat, we have an AWESOME GOD!   

    Proud parents of Scott, Ethan and Brad wait for their sons at the finish line in Dubuque, IA as their journey comes to a successful close.

    Proud parents of Scott, Ethan and Brad wait for their sons at the finish line in Dubuque, IA as their journey comes to a successful close.

    There was one central idea that started this whole mission. It is a fairly simply idea: I want to make a difference.  This is something that countless people think, but what stops them?  There is something I have realized in my short 18 years I have lived, and that is people think too little of their ability to make a change.  People are always “too young,” “too old,” “not smart enough,” “too quiet,” etc.  However, another thing I have learned is God doesn’t call the brave, mighty, or strong. God doesn’t call the equipped—he equips those whom he calls. When God told Moses his mission, he was so scared he had his brother, Aaron, be his spokesperson.  All throughout the Bible, God calls those who are too young, too old, and too weak.  God called people just like us, so why do we use those same excuses?  I always thought I was too young to make a difference till I was all grown up.  I didn’t think people would ever care what a kid had to say.  I was wrong.  I had been thinking about this a lot lately then I watched the movie Coach Carter.  In the movie, one of the students recites part of a poem called Our Deepest Fear, by Marianne Williamson. 

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

    It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
    gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

     Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.
    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
    so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
    We are all meant to shine, as children do. 

    We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
    It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

     And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
    other people permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our fear,
    our presence automatically liberates others.

     ”We are all meant to shine as children do.”  A child does not fear what they can’t accomplish, but they dream of everything they can.  Do something that is impossible for you to do by yourself. That way when it is accomplished, it is easy to thank God.  -Scott Van Daalen

    The team poses for a celebratory photo with Katie Dawson, Imagine No Malaria, and Jessica Nipp Hacker, ELCA Malaria Campaign.

    The team poses for a celebratory photo with Katie Dawson, Imagine No Malaria, and Jessica Nipp Hacker, ELCA Malaria Campaign.

    Nothing but Nets: A Basketball Challenge by Westerville Youth

    Posted on July 11, 2013 by allisonbeebe

    Youth have consistently been great congregational leaders for the ELCA Malaria Campaign, and this story from the Southern Ohio Synod offers a perfect example. St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westerville, Ohio recently hosted a successful fundraiser called “Nothing but Nets.” The youth of the congregation took to the basketball court and tried to shoot as many baskets as possible in one minute. All youth from gades 6 through 12 participated. People from the congregation pledged to support the youth with a donation per number of baskets earned.  Pastor Aaron Layne said that it was the youth of the congregation that truly led the charge with this event. “Our youth really got the congregation fired up about this ministry. The response to this global effort of doing God’s work with our hands was truly inspiring.” The youth eagerly put together a promotional video to show the congregation. To watch their great video, please click here.

    The youth created a "Nothing but Nets" promotional video - check it out on YouTube!

    The youth created a “Nothing but Nets” promotional video – check it out on YouTube!

    The project was rooted in an ongoing congregational emphasis on service. In the video, Pastor Layne informs us that, “Throughout this school year, our youth here at St. Paul Lutheran church have been doing many and various service projects here at the church, and in the community, and now we’re looking for our efforts to help others abroad in the name of Christ.” Pastor Layne noted that, in addition to being a fun way to raise money, the “Nothing but Nets” challenge really brought the congregation together. Everyone gathered in the gym between worship services, and onlookers were excited to see the youth shoot some hoops. The congregation rallied around a shared cause, and the enthusiasm of the youth was contagious. 

    We thank Pastor Aaron Layne for providing the content for this post, but we especially want to thank the youth of St. Paul Lutheran for their leadership, creativity and enthusiasm! Well done, St. Paul Lutheran of Westerville!

     

    Sanderson Leads St. Barnabas’ Recent Malaria “Sleepunder”

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by allisonbeebe

    Many thanks to Mary Simonson Clark of St. Barnabas Lutheran in Plymouth, MN for submitting this story to us. Mary volunteers as the ELCA Malaria Campaign synod coordinator for the Minneapolis Area Synod.

    Sleepunder

    Abigail Harness sleeping under a net

    What do National Honor Society, a “sleepunder,” and singing mosquitoes have in common? They were all part of St. Barnabas Lutheran Church’s January “Gift of Love” focus. As part of his National Honors Society Senior Leadership Project, Abram Sanderson organized the sleepunder and oversaw the Gift of Love emphasis. Each month, St. Barnabas receives a “Gift of Love” offering for a ministry outside its congregation; the ELCA Malaria Campaign was the January offering recipient.

    After planning with the pastors, Sanderson assumed several leadership roles to insure success in this month-long focus and special offering. Sanderson provided a worship minute or a brief awareness speech during St. Barnabas’ two morning worship services. He used this time to summarize the ELCA Malaria Campaign, announce St. Barnabas’ upcoming special offering, and invite the congregation to participate in the sleepunder.

    Sanderson

    Abram Sanderson led his congregation’s malaria campaign effort for a National Honor Society project

    Sanderson’s comprehensive approach included St. Barnabas’ children. He met with the third through fifth graders (the “Mariners”) during their education time and helped them make pipe cleaner mosquitoes. For instructions, see the Imagine No Malaria website. He coupled the successful mosquito construction with a two-sided worksheet that included a simple crossword puzzle and word search, which he found online. Accompanied and led by Pastor Wayne Peterson during worship, the children sang the M-O-S-Q-U-I-T-O song written by Pastor Pete Warmanen of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Medford, WI. To view the original video, click here. During the song, Sanderson used a mosquito puppet borrowed from Global Health Ministries to hover over the children. View the video of the children’s very cute musical rendition by clicking here!

    The children’s participation in worship included an invitation for the congregation to join in the sleepunder either by participating or by pledging donations. Despite the winter weather, ten people participated in the full night of activities held in St. Barnabas’ fellowship hall. Sanderson provided a broad spectrum of ways to raise the participants’ awareness of malaria while also having fun. Sanderson began by presenting an overview of malaria after which he showed the documentary When the Night Comes by Bobby Bailey. To view a short trailer, click here.

    The youth at the Sleepunder watch "When the Night Comes"

    The youth at the Sleepunder watch “When the Night Comes”

    They also played Malaria Tag and Malaria Jeopardy, both downloadable from the ELCA Malaria Campaign website . The focus of the event was sleeping under nets to simulate what our neighbors in Africa must do to protect themselves from deadly malaria-transmitting mosquito bites. In the morning, they ended the experience with a hearty pancake breakfast. Sanderson’s sleepunder event raised $420 through pledges. This, combined with the $1,405 from the Gift of Love offering, brought in $1,825 to prevent and treat malaria.   

     Why not follow Abram Sanderson and St. Barnabas’ impressive and successful example? Host your own month of activities culminating with a sleepunder. Like Sanderson and St. Barnabas, you can save lives and have fun!

    Thanks to Mary, Abram, and the entire St. Barnabas community for your leadership with the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Your successful campaign and creative Sleepunder is an inspiration!