Dear friends, this is our ELCA Malaria Campaign Christmas letter this year. With it come our warm wishes and our sincere gratitude for your generosity!
Mary and Joseph set off on foot toward Bethlehem, with only a donkey to help carry their burdens. They walked and worried, waited and hoped. Mary prayed for the safety of the son in her womb. And they walked on.
The mother in Malawi sets off on foot toward the clinic, with nothing to help her carry her burden. She walks and worries, waits and hopes. She prays for the safety of the child in her arms, who is very hot all over and has begun to shake. And she walks on.
We know the end of Mary and Joseph’s story—they make it safely to crowded Bethlehem. Because there is no room at the inn, Mary labors and gives birth surrounded by animals and hay. The tiny baby, wrapped in bands of cloth against the cold, survives.
But what about the end of the other story? The woman and her child, trekking miles to the nearest clinic to receive life-saving medication for malaria… do they make it in time? Is the clinic equipped to help them?
Millions of times a year, this story plays out in Africa. A parent sets out in desperate hope to journey to the nearest hospital, praying to make it in time, to receive the medication that will allow the sick child to overcome malaria.
And that’s the part of the story where we come in. Through your gifts to the ELCA Malaria Campaign, you’ve enabled our companions in Africa to build clinics to make the perilous journey shorter. You’ve helped to ensure that there will be technology to diagnose and medication to treat the malaria that threatens to take the life of a child.
Bishop Ambrose Moyo, bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe, shares his gratitude for your generosity. “What you are doing here might feel small, but I assure you, in southern Africa the effects are very big. We really appreciate you walking with us. We see the ELCA as the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, inspiring a lot of hope. Together we are making an impact and saving lives.”
And the life of a child is the best Christmas gift there is.
We wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas season, filled with good health and God’s blessings.
Jessica Nipp, diaconal minister
Coordinator, ELCA Malaria Campaign