ELCA Malaria Campaign

Make Malaria History

The Promise is Given to You

Posted on December 18, 2012 by jessicanipp

“Sing Joy”     by Peter Mayer

These days of winter have come to bury you
No sign of spring and no promise to carry you
No flowers blooming in your windowsill
And the beat of your heart is too still
And the beat of your heart is too still

Chorus: Oh—sing joy, joy, joy in the morning
Sing joy, joy in the afternoon
Sing joy, joy, joy for the child is born this night
The promise is given to you 

Come gather together, you children who wander
Looking for dreams that the whole world has squandered
You’ve lost them, you’ve sold them for pockets of gold
And you long to come in from the cold
Yes you long to come in from the cold. 
Oh, sing joy…

Lying in the cradle, no warrior, no king of the land
Only a child would bring peace in the palm of his hand
Singing joy, joy, joy   Oh, sing joy…

Through trials and darkness, fear and temptation
You look for deliverance and some revelation
With no songs of spring you wait for the call
Could there be nothing at all
Could there be nothing at all   Oh, sing joy…

 Reprinted with permission , www.petermayer.com

This Christmas, we celebrate again the extravagant promise of God, delivered to us so many years ago, in the form of a tiny baby. And what a phenomenal promise it is— the promise of forgiveness and mercy, of love and hope and belonging.

When we’re lonely and cold, this promise is still with us.  When we’re hungry and sick, the promise is still for us.  And when we doubt and despair, the promise is still in us.  It’s a promise bigger than all of us, a promise that strengthens us.  And so we can turn to one another in hope and in love, and walk hand in hand. Through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, we walk hand in hand with our sisters and brothers in Africa… and we make promises to one another.

As the ELCA, we’ve promised to raise money—$15  million by 2015.  And we’re well on our way.  Just a few weeks ago we passed the $5 million milestone!  Our Lutheran sisters and brothers in Africa have made promises, too.  They’ve promised to use the ELCA Malaria Campaign funding to educate their communities, and to provide malaria treatment and prevention, to keep families healthy. 

This malaria work is changing lives. In the Diplata congregation in Zambia, change is coming from the leaders.  The village headman attended a Lutheran-led training workshop in Zambezi.  A village elder now reports, “It is very encouraging to see our headman calling for malaria sensitization meetings at his home… He is also involved in the teaching and he tells us that he doesn’t want to see anyone in his village die of malaria because it’s a disease that is treatable and preventable.”  Lives being changed, health being restored—for that, we sing joy!

In the depths of night, the promise comes to us. In the morning, in the afternoon, we sing joy, for a child is born.  The promise is given to you.

God’s blessings to you as you celebrate the promise this Christmas,

Jessica and Allison (ELCA Malaria Campaign staff)


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