I’m getting the sense that the ELCA global mission strategy has five big rocks:
1. Companion synod relationships and support.
2. Sending of missionaries and YAGMs (Young Adults in Global Mission) 3. World Hunger Appeal
4. AIDS/Malaria Initiative
5. Disaster Response
Some prefer to distinguish between evangelism and social ministry. The distinction doesn’t work for me. Matthew 25 is too clear: “When I was hungry you gave me food…” preaching the gospel to someone while ignoring their human needs is hypocritical. Feeding the hungry without proclaiming the gospel is a bandaid that offers little hope for the future.
We’re doing most of the big rocks except malaria, which kills a child every 45 seconds in Africa alone. In 2008 there were 1 million deaths due to malaria, contracted through mosquitos.
The World Health Organization says we can make malaria history by 2015. Five years. The time is now. We must be a part. I hope all our congregations will do some malaria education and a couple of offerings in 2011. All synods will have a goal. If you do it, send it through us so we can track our progress towards doing our part.
If you’re interested in helping the Malaria Initiative get legs in our synod, let Peggy Hahn or me know.