People of God, saved by grace, we are the ones who call for peace. We are the ones who work to make it happen. We are the ones who cry for justice and break the cycle of poverty and disease. I think that our work through the ELCA Malaria Campaign is one of the important ways in which the ELCA, together with our sisters and brothers in Africa, “wages peace.”
“Well, we met our goal of one net per baptized member,” explained Bethlehem Pastor Gary Hedding, “So we decided to just keep going.”
The ELCA Malaria Campaign set the goal of raising $15 million by 2015. So far we have raised $10 million.
At the 2011 June Synod Assembly, the Northeastern Iowa Synod agreed to be part of a pilot program for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Our goal was to raise $250,000 in three years. We raised $60,000 by the end of the Assembly. With 6 months to go we have raised more than $395,000, the third highest total of all the synods in the ELCA. And congregations are still raising money.
According to Ms. Hacker, the NE Iowa Synod responded and the campaign in our synod progressed exactly the way they hoped and in fact far exceeded expectations.
Everyone in the synod got on board. Gifts have come in from congregations, individuals, youth groups, Sunday School and VBS classes and outdoor ministries. Gifts have come in from all ages from St. Paul’s Lutheran school to Bartel’s Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly.
ministries. Of that Wartburg college (in our synod) raised $45,000 through the Wartburg Malaria Initiative.
“Before the program started, people only slept under the nets during rainy seasons when mosquitoes are plenty. But now we all sleep under the nets throughout the year, and this has reduced the number of malaria cases in our village. My son will never go to sleep until he is covered with a mosquito net.” ~ A mother in Zambia
Because of the Lutheran Malaria Program, we now have trained community workers, rapid diagnostic tests and anti-malarial medicines in our village and we treat malaria with the first-line medicines (Coartem) provided by the church program.” ~ An Elder in Zambia
When we began the campaign, one child died of malaria every 45 seconds. Now it is one child every 60 seconds. That is still way too high but it shows we can make a difference.Every gift to the ELCA Malaria Campaign makes a difference.
Every gift counts!!
**UPDATE By June 2014, the Northeastern Iowa Synod raised $441,250 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.