April 24 – Native American Ministries Sunday (next week)/World Malaria Day (April 25)
A Moment for Mission
“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord. … Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks.” —Psalm 118:17, 19a, NRSV
Two-year-old Aminata and her father arrived at the Hatfield Archer Memorial Methodist Hospital in Rotofunk, Sierra Leone, at midnight. Her breathing was shallow and rapid, and she was feverish, weak and pale.
“I was surprised to see a father playing a mother’s role,” noted the community health officer, Mohsen M. Lumeh, since most children arrive with their mothers. Testing and lab work revealed the baby had a complicated case of malaria and a secondary diagnosis of severe anemia. Lumeh ordered a blood transfusion, placed Aminata on oxygen and started her on antimalarial drugs immediately.
In just a week, Aminata fully recovered. At checkout, her father asked for the bill, but the cashier replied, “The bill has been settled by Imagine No Malaria.” The father left the hospital in amazement with a broad smile. Often, people wait too long to seek medical help because they fear receiving medical bills they can’t pay.
Scenes like this in Sierra Leone are repeated across Africa every day at United Methodist hospitals and clinics. Though malaria, caused by a parasite carried from one person to the next by mosquitoes, can be deadly if left untreated, it can be killed with proper treatment. Preventive measures go a long way in protecting communities from constant exposure.
World Malaria Day, April 25, celebrates the successes in the fight against malaria and urges countries, leaders and communities to do more to reach a malaria-free world.
Christie R. House, General Board of Global Ministries
Have you ever been bitten by a mosquito? Most of us know how pesky and annoying those little critters can be. But most of us don’t worry about catching malaria.
Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Thanks to medical advances in the United States—plus insecticides, drainage ditches and window screens—malaria is not common here.
That’s not the case in other parts of the world, especially in Africa, where young children often become very sick with malaria.
But United Methodists are making a difference. Since 2008, our church has worked hard to fight malaria. When we give to a ministry called Imagine No Malaria, children have a chance to become healthy. Isn’t that wonderful?
Loving God, thank you for ministries like Imagine No Malaria that often make the difference between life and death. Bless the health care workers around the world. We love you. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday of Easter — O God of our Salvation, we are witnesses to your amazing deeds! By the resurrection of your Son Jesus, you have opened the gate to eternal life. We are grateful for your gifts of forgiveness and a new start. Let the obedience of Christ, the righteous one, become the chief cornerstone of our lives. Help us to use our spiritual gifts and monetary blessings be a testimony to your glory. We dedicate ourselves and our offerings through Christ our risen Lord. Amen. (Acts 5:27-32)
Lorraine Charinda, an agriculturist missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, thanks God every day for Imagine No Malaria. She’s had malaria more times than she can count. “Without Imagine No Malaria,” she said, “there would be many dead here. So, I really appreciate that work.”
Today, more than 400,000 people die from malaria each year. Most are African children under five years of age. In fact, 90% of malaria cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where The United Methodist Church has concentrated its Imagine No Malaria program.
Imagine No Malaria, set in motion by the 2008 General Conference as a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is funded by donations from United Methodists of all ages and affiliations. The United Methodist Church was the first faith-based partner of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the largest international public-/private-funding source for health programs.
Your gifts to Imagine No Malaria save lives. Thank you!
Adapted from “Still Thanking God for Imagine No Malaria,” Christie R. House, General Board of Global Ministries, April 23, 2021. Used by permission.