Today's post is by UM & Global blogmaster Dr. David W. Scott, Assistant Professor of Religion and Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership at Ripon College.
Last Friday was World Malaria Day for those of you who missed it, though I doubt many of you did. The day dedicated to the fight against malaria, undertaken in the UMC by our Imagine No Malaria campaign, received a lot of press. In fact, in my informal observations of the Methodist Twitterverse, World Malaria Day was one of the most tweeted-about topics ever outside the liturgical year. While Easter, which came the Sunday before, received more attention, the comparison was closer than I had expected. Not only did the general agencies promote it on a daily basis for two weeks ahead of time, but most of the Annual Conferences with active Twitter feeds were strongly promoting it as well. Individual United Methodists added their digital voices too.
That's a good thing. It's a good thing because it puts The United Methodist Church's focus where it should be: on mission. When we are in the season of celebrating Jesus' resurrection and triumph over death, it makes sense for us to live out our discipleship by defeating death and promoting life for those in malaria-stricken areas. Moreover, the Imagine No Malaria campaign has been a great example of international cooperation by the denomination as a whole. The campaign has depended not only on Western finances or expertise, but African expertise and connections on the ground as well. Moreover, Imagine No Malaria has taken the church out into the world to collaborate with a wide range of government, non-profit, and business partners. Finally, the campaign has been a success thus far and will likely continue being a success.
If you'd like a glimpse at some of the success stories of Imagine No Malaria, the church has put out a series of great articles and videos about how the campaign has played out in Sierra Leone. I highly recommend you check them out if you haven't already:
Imagine No Malaria to Distribute Nets in Sierra Leone: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/imagine-no-malaria-to-distribute-nets-in-sierra-leone
Seeing Beauty in Sierra Leone: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/seeing-beauty-in-sierra-leone
Villagers Testify to Imagine No Malaria's Impact on Lives: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/villagers-testify-to-imagine-no-malarias-impact-on-lives
Thanks to You, We Can Imagine No Malaria: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/thanks-to-you-we-can-imagine-no-malaria