Martha J. Mitkos has joined The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod as campaign director for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI), an unprecedented campaign to mobilize U.S. Lutherans in the global effort to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.
The LMI’s goals are to increase awareness of malaria and its daily impact on the lives of people in Africa, and to raise $45 million to help fight the disease.
As LMI campaign director, Mitkos will manage all aspects of the Synod’s portion of the $45 million fundraising campaign and serve as a liaison to Baltimore-based Lutheran World Relief, which is partnering with the LCMS in the initiative.
“Martha’s passion for the mission of LMI and her experience are two great strengths she brings to her new position,” said LCMS President Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. “I have every confidence that Martha will lead the LMI campaign to fruition, generating the support of millions of Americans for our brothers and sisters in Africa who are needlessly suffering and dying from this devastating but preventable disease.
“It is our sacred task to love our neighbor, speaking the Gospel and caring for the needy,” Harrison said. “LMI is helping us help millions in Africa, and also many Lutheran Christians.”
Mitkos most recently served as director of development for the Saint Louis University School of Medicine (2009-11). She also served as philanthropic advisor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (2005-09), and Allied Health educational consultant/Hillsboro Health Care Initiative program coordinator for the Lincoln Land Community College/Hillsboro Area Hospital (2004-05).
Mitkos earned a bachelor’s degree in recreational leadership and administration from Greenville College in Greenville, Ill. She has also earned graduate credits in health promotion from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.
At the Synod’s national convention last July, more than 97 percent of voting delegates moved to encourage the LCMS — through its agencies, congregations, schools, universities and seminaries — to support LMI.
“I am truly blessed to be serving our Lord as campaign director of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative,” Mitkos said. “It was with great resound that the 2010 convention of the LCMS resolved to serve the people of Africa by striving to eliminate the suffering of His people from malaria. Every 45 seconds a child dies from malaria and through witness, mercy and life together we can bring hope and healing to God’s people.”
Posted June 16, 2011