Monday, September 17, 2012

Mali, malaria, mosquitos...oh my!

School has been in session for an entire month. I have 26 sweet second graders and we are having a lot of fun learning new things! It's been a busy few weeks, but I'm excited to get back to blogging. I'm going to start tonight by sharing an article I wrote about the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI). The article can be found on the LCMS English District website and it will also be featured in the English Channels, a publication sent to schools and congregations within the English District of the LCMS.

Is your school or congregation interested in a new mission project? Are you looking for somewhere to donate your weekly chapel offerings? Be sure to check out the LMI website and get involved in this wonderful project being sponsored by the LCMS! Read on to learn more...

Under the Net
Mali, malaria, mosquitos...oh my!

Did you know every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria? Or that malaria kills approximately one million people every year? The LCMS launched The Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) as a way to combat the deadly disease in countries where malaria is prevalent. Currently, LMI is reaching out to countries where there are partner Lutheran churches and missionaries on the ground. Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya are the countries that have benefited from malaria projects thus far. In the near future, LMI will begin to offer programs in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Nigeria, Guinea, Niger and Ghana. To date, over 2.4 million people have been reached by ongoing LMI projects.

Several elementary schools and congregations within the English District have already contributed to LMI. $10 is all it costs to send a treated bed net to a family in need. Education and training on how to properly use a bed net is also given to every family. Last spring, students in San Francisco, CA contributed their chapel offerings to LMI. Over $2,000 was brought in by the students and their families. Together, they donated over 200 treated bed nets to send to Africa. Students kept track of how many bed nets were donated by hanging mosquitos in the hallway for every $10 that was given as chapel offering. As you can see from the pictures, the hallways were overtaken with mosquitos! 

In addition to schools and congregations joining together to combat malaria, a small group of deaconesses, DCEs, lay leaders, pastors and teachers have come together to serve on the English District LMI Team. The meetings are held via conference call, as the team members are spread across several different states and time zones. The team will serve as a coaching model and resource for congregations who wish to support the LMI. The English District officially kicked off the LMI project at this summer’s district convention in St. Louis. Martie the Mosquito was seen buzzing around, encouraging conference attendees to get excited about LMI and what they can do to support ongoing partnerships in Africa. It is the committee's hope and prayer that English District schools and congregations will join us “under the net” to put an end to this deadly disease that is taking away so many lives. 

Together, we can change “Mali, malaria, mosquitos!” to “millions saved, medical treatment and the message of the gospel proclaimed!” What will your school or congregation do to help this worthy cause? Together, we can save lives.

Statistics and facts stated in the article were taken from Be sure to visit the website for more information, resources and ways to support LMI. Don’t forget to “Like” Lutheran Malaria Initiative on Facebook and share what your congregation is doing to help in the fight against malaria. Pictures of current projects are especially appreciated.

Heather Schneider is a 2nd grade teacher in San Francisco, CA. She serves on the English District Lutheran Malaria Initiative Team.