The missions and outreach project of VBS this year was to introduce “Imagine no Malaria” to the children in the church and community.
“Imagine No Malaria” is an extraordinary effort of the people of The United Methodist Church, putting faith into action to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa.
During Wesley’s VBS, John and Cathy Guy, the “Nothing but Nets” instructors, placed special emphasis on children in Africa who contract the disease.
According to the World Health Organization (World Malaria Report 2011), this disease now claims a life every 60 seconds and “Approximately 86 percent of malaria deaths globally were of children under 5 years of age.”
The“Imagine No Malaria” website states that while malaria has been killing for thousands of years, since the time of King Tut, this can be ended through a comprehensive plan that includes prevention, education, treatment, and communication.
The United Methodist Church has a significant part in helping in the fight against malaria. With the financial support of over 12 million members worldwide and the presence of the church in Africa for more than 160 years operating churches, schools, hospitals and clinics, the church has developed significant experience and inroads in the fight against Malaria.
Malaria is transmitted to humans through the bite of the female anopheles mosquito, which is a deadly pest that flies and feeds at night.
According to the World Health Organization “Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines.”
Wesley Memorial and The United Methodist Church are not alone in the effort to save lives. “Imagine No Malaria” has partnered with agencies such as the United Nations Foundation, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, all global leaders in the fight against malaria and other diseases of poverty.
The Rev. Robert Smith, Wesley’s Pastor, has challenged his congregation to help save 1,000 lives through donations to purchase bed nets, which are an effective tool in preventing the bite of the mosquito.
Through a $10 donation, one net can be purchased and sent to the countries in Africa. During VBS at Wesley, the children raised $1,020, thus helping to save 102 lives.
To find more information or to make a donation, visit the “Imagine No Malaria” website: http://www.imaginenomalaria.org/
Wesley Memorial welcomes donations for “Imagine No Malaria” to: Wesley Memorial UMC, 3405 Peerless Road NW, Cleveland, TN 37312. The e-giving address is http://www.wesleymemorialchurch.com/e-giving/ .
All funds will be sent to the Holston Conference of the UMC designated solely for Imagine No Malaria.