The Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) publicly launches Sept. 18-20 with several Lutheran congregations and schools hosting special offerings, awareness events and other activities.
LMI is an unprecedented campaign of the Synod and Lutheran World Relief to mobilize U.S. Lutherans in the global effort to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. The initiative’s goals are to increase awareness of malaria and raise $45 million to help fight the disease. It is made possible through support from the United Nations Foundation.
At the 2010 Synod convention, more than 97 percent of voting delegates moved to encourage the LCMS through its agencies, congregations, schools, universities and seminaries to support LMI.
Lutheran congregations, schools and individuals already have contributed nearly $2 million for LMI to help the people of Africa whose everyday lives are affected by malaria.
Included among congregations and their schools holding LMI events during the public launch are:
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Cameron, Mo.;
- St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Ill.;
- Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ohio;
- Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, Texas;
- St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, York, Pa.; and
- Faith Lutheran Church, Lacey, Wash.
Some 650 Lutheran congregations and 200 Lutheran schools across the country expect to hold LMI events before the end of the year.
Churches, schools and individuals interested in showing their support of LMI during the public launch might choose to pray a special LMI prayer or read the children’s book about malaria, Little Things Make Big Differences: A Story about Malaria, available from Concordia Publishing House.
To join the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, click here. Those who join LMI will receive an “LMI Starter Kit” with a step-by-step guide on how to organize and complete a local campaign in congregations, schools, offices, neighborhoods and communities.
“I want to thank everyone who is participating in this LMI public launch and am likewise grateful for all those who plan to join in the future,” said LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. “We are working with our Lutheran partners at the last mile who are best positioned to help those affected by the ravages of malaria. This initiative will vastly increase the capacity of our partner churches to deliver care, education and prevention of malaria where they live, and while doing so, demonstrate the mercy of Christ.”
“Between 40 percent and 60 percent of health care in the developing world countries is provided by faith-based organizations like our Lutheran partners,” UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin said. “It is inspiring to see how the Lutheran community in the U.S. can help the UN reach families in rural villages on the other side of the world.”
“We are thrilled and excited about this Lutheran Malaria Initiative, this global partnership to end needless deaths due to a preventable disease,” said the Rev. Dr. John Nunes, LWR president and CEO. “Malaria is a devastating disease, and through LMI, there is something that each and every one of us can do to make a difference.”
For more information, visit www.lutheranmalaria.org.
Posted Sept. 14, 2011