Last week, one of the voting members at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly urged us to remember Will Herzfeld, who served as the executive of ELCA Global Mission and who died of malaria that he contracted while on a trip to Africa. In addition to the impact malaria has on the lives of our African sisters and brothers, let us also lift up our ELCA  mission personnel whose lives can be affected by the disease. A few days ago we received this note from Anne Langdji, the ELCA’s Regional Representative for West Africa.  She wrote:

“Nice to read the good news about the Malaria Campaign this morning. And it came in between phone conversations with Pastor Jackie Griffin, who arrived in CAR two week ago to start work with that church’s Women’s Organization, “Femmes Centrafricaines pour Christ”.  I welcomed her in Bangui and got her settled in the village of Bohong, where she is spending two months learning Sango.  She spent the past year in N’gaoundere, studying French, and had earlier served in Congo, so is somewhat comfortable in this new setting.

Unfortunately, since this weekend she’s been experiencing her first case of malaria and it’s been hard.  She’s getting good care both from local Catholic health centers and the staff of Lutheran health centers who are visitors in Bouar for a training.  She’s our only ELCA personnel in country right now as Pastor Deborah and Joe Troester and daughter are still on home assignment.

I would ask you to lift her up in prayer.  Many others are suffering tonight as she is, but she is one who has been sent by the ELCA to serve and right now she’s suffering and receiving the compassion and expert care of our Central African brothers and sisters, as well as a German missionary doctor.”

So together, let’s remember Will, and praise God for the good care that Jackie is receiving.  And let’s support the work of the ELCA Malaria Campaign that will make possible excellent malaria treatment and prevention  for many more people in the near future.

Jessica Nipp
ELCA Malaria Campaign