During last year’s synod assembly in Western Iowa, mosquitoes swarmed the stage!
Members of the Lutheran Youth Organization in the Western Iowa Synod built wire-and-styrofoam mosquitoes that were difficult to overlook– they were painted in neon colors. Giant mosquitoes on sticks, wielded by earnest youth, swarmed the stage when there were speakers and roamed the hallways on breaks.
Participants who had purchased “mosquito insurance” (for $5) were safe. But those without an insurance wristband were out of luck: when the mosquitoes swarmed, those folks got infected with malaria.
Infected assembly-goers received a card that explained to them the challenges that face our sisters and brothers in Africa when malaria strikes.
They were invited to go to a simulated hospital and to “pay” (more than $5!) for their doctor’s visit and malaria treatment. There was a great lesson to be learned: malaria prevention can be costly… but malaria treatment is even more costly.
Throughout the assembly, “Malaria Mission Moments” provided opportunities to share malaria facts and malaria stories, and to educate assembly-goers about the great work that the ELCA and our Lutheran companions in Africa are doing through the ELCA Malaria Campaign.
Through this and other efforts, the Western Iowa Synod has raised over $32,000 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign!