Many thanks to Brandee Marckmann for sharing this article with us. It was originally published in her congregation’s newsletter. An anonymous donor in Brandee’s congregation (St. Mark’s in San Francisco, CA) has made a $25,000 matching challenge to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Brandee is leading the malaria team at St. Mark’s, and encouraging her congregation and others to respond generously to this challenge.
The day our son husband Henry was born, my husband Bill and I nearly experienced every parent’s nightmare. A nurse discovered him pulseless nearly an hour after he was born. “Code blue!” she shouted as she wheeled him out of our hospital room.
No, no, no! This isn’t happening! I thought.
Henry was resuscitated by CPR. However, he did not regain consciousness when he started breathing. Our newborn was in a coma. We feared the worst.
To hours after the incident occurred, we learned that Henry had regained consciousness and had yanked out his own breathing tube! We were lucky. Very lucky. Today, Henry is thriving.
A year ago I saw a brochure at St. Mark’s about the ELCA’s $15 million campaign to contain malaria. The statistics I read were heartbreaking: malaria kills 655,000 people each year, and most are children under five. That’s a child every 60 seconds. I shook my head, thinking, it’s not fair that my baby had access to state-of-the-art medical treatment while other babies die of a disease that is preventable and treatable.
The ELCA is joining hands with eleven church bodies in Africa to become part of an historic global movement to say, “enough is enough!” and eliminate malaria. The campaign is saving lives. Recently, at an ELCA-sponsored medical center, a toddler with malaria received a life-saving blood transfusion and treatment to kill the remaining parasites in his blood.
That’s just one of many success stories. Grassroots strategies of the campaign include:
- Training community volunteers in malaria treatment and prevention methods
- Insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets to prevent the spread of the disease
- Water treatment projects to control the environments where mosquitos breed
- Providing medicine to treat malaria and preventative medication to protect pregnant women and their babies
After learning that there was a $25,000 challenge grant for the campaign from a member of St. Mark’s with a $1-for-$1 match, my husband and I made a financial commitment to the campaign. We are championing the campaign out of gratitude for Henry’s life and because we think that none of God’s children should have to suffer from a disease that is preventable and treatable.
We can all make a real difference by giving of our treasure to this campaign. A gift of $250 is enough to purchase anti-malarial medication to protect 125 pregnant women and their babies form malaria. $100 trains a village health team to work with the community to help people learn how to prevent and diagnose the disease. Even a $10 gift purchases a bed net to protect families from mosquitoes while they sleep.
Members of the Sierra Pacific Synod, please join me in taking advantage of the dollar-for-dollar match of the $25,000 challenge grant! We can’t pass up this opportunity to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world in the fight against malaria.
Amen! Thank you, Brandee! (Members of the Sierra Pacific Synod: if you or your congregation would like to participate in this matching challenge, contact Jessica at email@example.com for instructions.)
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