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 firstname.lastname@example.org.