Thursday, May 1, 2008

Together Against Malaria

Just haven’t had the energy, physical or emotional, to write a post until now, and now is Thursday after lunch. Mr. Bill Gates, Sr. is speaking to us, since we have entered a historic partnership with the Gates Foundation to eradicate malaria. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as has been announced, has pledged $5 million to join us in our Nothing But Nets cause.

“We have wiped malaria off the face of one continent (North America) and allowed it to continue on another (Africa)…. Brothers and sisters don’t just sit back and watch children die. We must tell the world “malaria is no longer acceptable.”…”You are 12 million people armed with the conviction that all the world is your parish, which makes you the most powerful weapon against disease.”

“People are dying and that ought to be enough. They are human beings, and we ought to help them.”

“Let me end with telling you a story about the kind of leadership your church has for this cause. Candy Marshall, who works at the Gates Foundation in Seattle, grew up on a farm in Nebraska and attended the local UMC. She said that her church, when she was growing up, had a birthday bank where children deposited a penny for every year of their life. She got a letter from her mom. They still keep the bank and this year the gross receipts were $62.

Williamsburg UMC sent $62 to the work against malaria. Candy’s mom sent a little extra. Her minister heard what Candy does and invited her to come speak. The power of your church is that it teaches children in Nebraska and the children in Zambia that they are part of the same parish. That is your gift, and it will end malaria.”

This was a great message about Our Future With Hope, a timely message as we needed to refocus on the world beyond our internal struggles.

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