(Lake City, FL.) -- United Methodist congregations across north central Florida were reminded of their commitment to put faith and love into action by being asked to, “Imagine No Malaria.” Today is World Malaria Day and the church kicked off it’s, “Imagine No Malaria Campaign” at Sunday gatherings across the world were it officially launched it’s $75 million dollar initiative to eliminate malaria on the African continent.
Pastor J. Louie Mabrey at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Lake City, FL took the text of his sermon Sunday morning, in part from the book of Romans chapter 8:37, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” He exhorted the congregation that the goal of conquering malaria in Africa was possible through faith and hard work.
The chief executive of United Methodist Communications, Rev. Larry Hollon said, “United Methodists are taking on the fight against malaria in a big way, and we’re excited about the potential impact of this effort.” He added, “Malaria is preventable and treatable. It’s a fight we can win if we all work together.”
According to the Word Health Organizations 2009 World Malaria Report , half of the world's population is at risk for malaria. And, an estimated 243 million cases led to nearly 863 000 deaths in 2008 worldwide. Africa suffered the overwhelming majority of those malaria related deaths. The Democratic Republic of the Congo for example reported 18,928 deaths in 2008, one of the worst hit countries on the African continent, and accounted for an estimated 11% of all malaria cases in the WHO African Region.
Methodists congregations in Florida joined others throughout the world with the goal of eliminating the death and suffering malaria spreads by 2015. To do that the plan is to raise $75 million dollars and with that build up the health-care infrastructure of those area’s in Africa devastated by the disease.
A free concert and party to launch Imagine No Malaria will be broadcast Sunday, April 25 - 2-5 p.m. (CDT) from Austin, Texas - State Capitol - South Lawn. The entire launch party is open and free to the public. Rock band Jars of Clay will headline the event. The event will also feature live music from Austin’s Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township, the Huston-Tillotson College Choir.
For more information visit www.ImagineNoMalaria.org.