ELCA Malaria Campaignhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/Catching the Buzz at St. Andrew'sJessica Nipp Hackerhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/241http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/241<div class="ExternalClass2DFDAB0170B449DDAA09640320893E88"><p>​<em style="line-height&#58;1.6;">Many thanks to Pastor Megan Crouch, Associate Minister at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MN for sharing this story and these photos with us. Megan writes&#58;</em></p><p>We just completed our VBS program using the &quot;Catch the Buzz&quot; ELCA Malaria Campaign resource, and it was a BLAST. Here are some of the highlights of our program, and some of the tips and tricks that we learned while doing it!</p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Crouch%20for%20web3.jpg" alt="Crouch for web3.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>Photo&#58; St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MN &quot;Caught&#160;the Buzz&quot; for their VBS this summer.&#160;</em></p><p>Without a doubt, one of the biggest highlights of the program was watching the children from age 3 (we had to adjust some material for the youngest children) through 11 get excited about helping their brothers and sisters in Africa. They really got the message and were excited to help out. I had one little girl ask me if she could send one of her craft projects to Africa!</p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Crouch%20for%20web4.jpg" alt="Crouch for web4.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>Photo&#58; Children from St. Andrew's got excited about their &quot;Catch the Buzz&quot; craft projects!</em>​</p><p>We really embraced the opportunity to help teach children about Africa. One of the biggest challenges in raising awareness for malaria is that some people in our congregation had not learned much about places like Zambia, Namibia, Angola, Nigeria, and Tanzania. We started our learning by dividing the children into groups and naming all the groups after countries in Africa where the ELCA is active in helping to fight malaria. We had the Zesty Zambians, the Nifty Nigerians, the Noble Namibians, the Awesome Angolans, and the Terrific Tanzanians. Each group leader was given a print out about their country including the flags and fun facts for the children. We also had the flags of each country on the name tags for each group and at their sign in tables. By the end of the week everyone who attended VBS could name at least five African countries. </p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Crouch%20for%20web1.jpg" alt="Crouch for web1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; Children who participated in &quot;Catch the Buzz&quot;&#160;at St Andrew's learned more about five African countries.&#160;</em></p><p>We also used the story time as an opportunity to help children learn about Africa. For some of our younger rotations, we got a book of African fables, <em>Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales,</em> and a wonderful woman from our church dressed up as our story teller each day. She had children dress up as animals from the stories and act them out, and also brought in some wonderful African tribal music for them to dance to at the end (which worked especially&#160;well for little children with short attention spans).​</p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/crouch%20for%20web5.jpg" alt="crouch for web5.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>Photo&#58; Story time​ during VBS at&#160;St. Andrew's was very interactive!</em></p><p>The Catch the Buzz curriculum had four stations, and we run a five-station program at St. Andrew's.&#160; So we decided to add a fifth station called Marla's Mission, where children could go and help out Marla the by being God's hands in our world. We have found that children love the opportunity to do something hands on-that they know makes a difference in this world! We had children watch videos created by the ELCA Malaria Campaign and Lutheran World Relief which showed how their efforts made a difference. </p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/crouch%20for%20web6.jpg" alt="crouch for web6.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></em></p><p><em>Photo&#58; Marla's Mission was a station that invited VBS&#160;participants to&#160;serve others.</em></p><p>There were two especially popular projects. One was the Lutheran World Relief video called &quot;Two Women, Two Lives; Touched by an LWR Quilt&quot; where children saw a woman in America who made quilts and a woman in Africa who received the quilt and learned how their lives were the same and different. Then we had the children decorate white squares of cloth that our church quilters will later make into LWR quilts. </p><p>The other really popular project was our progressive envelope drive called Make Malaria History. We watched the short version of the ELCA Malaria Campaign video, and then talked about what malaria was and how children could help. Then children were taken to see a mosquito net that was set up in the fellowship hall. Next to the net were 120 envelopes with mosquitos on them. We told children that those were mosquitos that had gotten caught in the net and we had a chance to &quot;swat&quot; them… but some mosquitos are harder to swat than others.&#160;</p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/crouch%20for%20web9.jpg" alt="crouch for web9.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></em></p><p><em>Photo&#58; The envelope drive was a popular activity during Catch the Buzz at St. Andrew's.</em></p><p>Each envelope had an amount written on it (we used smaller amounts, so the first envelope cost 25 cents to &quot;swat,&quot; the second 50 cents, and so on), and children were able to choose the mosquito they wanted to swat by putting money in the envelope. We had a big basket and a grave stone that said &quot;RIP malaria&quot; where children turned their envelopes in. We ended up raising more than $700 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign, and the children loved the activity. When we asked them &quot;What are we going to do?&quot; they would all shout back &quot;Make malaria history!&quot;</p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Crouch%20for%20web2.jpg" alt="Crouch for web2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>Photo&#58; Catch the Buzz participants at St. Andrew's helped to make malaria history.</em></p><p>One last tip&#160;for you&#58; We learned that you can make a really awesome African Hut for your decorations by following these simple steps&#58;</p><ul><li>Get a large cardboard box- many stores will happily set one aside for you if you ask (refrigerator boxes work well)</li><li>Put a patio umbrella and stand in the box</li><li>Wrap the box and umbrella in brown paper</li><li>Cover the umbrella with raffia, and you have a great African hut</li></ul><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/crouch%20for%20web7.jpg" alt="crouch for web7.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>Photo&#58; An African hut decorated the space for Catch the Buzz at St. Andrew's.</em></p><p>All in all it was a great week. We had tons of fun with games, stories, music, crafts, and so much more. We learned that you can never have too many balloons, that giant fly swatters are great for games, and that even the smallest person can make a big difference in God's Kingdom. Our congregation was excited to be a part of making malaria history! </p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/crouch%20for%20web8.jpg" alt="crouch for web8.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></em></p><p><em>Photo&#58; Marla the Mosquito helped to teach&#160;children at St. Andrew's that everyone can help make malaria history.</em></p><p><em></em><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">Thanks to everyone at the ELCA who worked so hard on putting this program together!</span></p><p><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;"><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/crouch%20for%20web10.jpg" alt="crouch for web10.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></em></span></p><p><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;"><em>Photo&#58; a life-sized Marla the Mosquito helped to present the skits each day.</em></span></p><p><em>Wow, what an impressive story.&#160;Thank you very much&#160;to Megan and the team at St. Andrew's for making Catch the Buzz come alive in their context, and for sharing so many details with us! For more photos of Catch the Buzz at St. Andrew's, visit <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/pages/St-Andrews-Lutheran-Church/350163293401">their Facebook page</a>.</em></p></div>07/21/2014Sustainable Livelihoods in Zimbabwe: Pindirai Jehovah Poultry ProjectAllison Beebehttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/240http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/240<div class="ExternalClassB302F268F11E4F8E95F7FB7EA811B8EF"><p>​<span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">M</span><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">alaria reduction takes many forms. People can protect themselves from mosquitos by sleeping under nets, or they can reduce mosquito breeding grounds by eliminating areas of standing water. These are indeed important interventions in working to reduce this disease of poverty. And because malaria is a disease of poverty, another important way to reduce malaria is by reducing the burden of poverty in areas of high malaria incidence. &#160;</span></p><p>The Lutheran Malaria Program in Zimbabwe is working to provide income generating opportunities for community members in the Burure region. The Lutheran Malaria Program grants seed money so that small businesses can commence their operations. The Pindirai Jehovah Poultry Project is one such sustainable livelihoods project, and is located in Chitekete, Zimbabwe.</p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Chickens%20Compressed.jpg" alt="Chickens Compressed.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; A boy stands outside of the Pindirai Jehovah chicken coop.</em></p><p>There are ten women who belong to the poultry project cooperative. The women purchased the chickens with seed money provided by the Lutheran Malaria Program in Zimbabwe, which is a program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe. All of the women who are in the cooperative are also members of the local Burure Lutheran Congregation. The women of the cooperative learned about this opportunity through their congregation's malaria focal person, who frequently speaks to the congregation about how to prevent and treat malaria. </p><p>All of the participating women take an active role in caring for and tending to the chickens. &#160;They have a roster which lists the various chores and they divide the tasks amongst themselves. They even take turns watching over the chickens at night. Once the chicks have grown, they can be taken to the market and sold. </p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Chicks%20compressed%202.jpg" alt="Chicks compressed 2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p>Profits are collected and saved. Women in the cooperative can use the savings to help with medical costs, like malaria medication or travel expenses in order to access care. If a cooperative member falls ill, the members meet to determine how much assistance can be provided by the cooperation. Since the start of the poultry project, cooperative member Mrs. Wazha noted that the extra income has made it easier to transport people to clinics. </p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Chicks%20compressed.jpg" alt="Chicks compressed.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; Mrs. Wazha, a member of the cooperative, holds up two&#160;of the chicks from the poultry project. </em></p><p>The chicken cooperative wouldn't like to be limited to only chickens. With their profits, they have already purchased three goats, and they hope to someday acquire some cattle. </p><p>The chicken cooperative brings business to the community, is a source of food for local families and provides sustainable incomes for the participating women. In addition to all of those community benefits, there are solar panels on the roof of the chicken coop, which brings some power to the village. Truly, the Pindirai Jehovah Poultry Project is an asset in the community of Chitekete, Zimbabwe!</p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Chicks%20compressed%203.jpg" alt="Chicks compressed 3.jpg" style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;margin&#58;5px;" />​<br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; Some of the women of the cooperative, along with area malaria leaders, stand near the project.</em></p><p><br></p></div>07/18/2014"This household is going to improve!" - The Lutheran malaria program in UgandaJessica Nipp Hackerhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/239http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/239<div class="ExternalClass9825CD9D5A444767B2938C634A171AA2"><p>​<span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">&quot;Malaria used to be rampant here,&quot; reports Akwi Teddy of her community in Katakwi District, Uganda, &quot;but ever since the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) came here, the cases of malaria have reduced.&quot;&#160; </span><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">(The LWF malaria program in Uganda is supported by the ELCA Malaria Campaign.) </span><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">&#160;</span></p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Akwi%20Teddy%20for%20web.jpg" alt="Akwi Teddy for web.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><em>Photo&#58; Akwi Teddy, shown here with her husband and baby, is participating in the Lutheran malaria program in Uganda.&#160;</em></p><p>Through the LWF malaria program, Teddy has been working with a Village Health Team member (VHT), a volunteer health&#160;leader trained by the Lutheran World Federation malaria program. &#160;&#160;The VHT &quot;visited me many times,&quot; Teddy reports. </p><p>When she showed symptoms of malaria during her recent pregnancy, the VHT encouraged Teddy to get tested and to take malaria medication.&#160; He also made sure that she received an insecticide-treated mosquito net. Teddy learned how to recognize the signs and symptoms of malaria and began sleeping under the net every night. And since then, &quot;I have not had any illness anymore,&quot; Teddy reports. </p><p>After she delivered her baby, Teddy visited with the VHT again. &quot;I came back and thanked him because I had a safe delivery,&quot; she says.​</p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Akwi%20Teddy%20for%20web%202.jpg" alt="Akwi Teddy for web 2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><em>Photo&#58; Akwi Teddy is happy&#160;that she and her family have learned how to protect themselves from malaria through the Lutheran malaria program in Uganda.&#160;</em></p><p>Akwi Teddy is confident about her family's prospects. &quot;This household is going to improve,&quot; she says. &quot;Because there is no malaria anymore, whatever I earn I will use to buy household items.&#160; &#160;I am very grateful for the help we received from LWF.&quot;</p><p><em>Your gifts to the ELCA Malaria Campaign help to make the Lutheran malaria program in Uganda—and many other Lutheran malaria programs in Africa—possible. Thank you for your support!</em></p></div>07/14/2014Malaria Photo Gallery Now Open!Megan Flowershttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/238http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/238<div class="ExternalClass218820D174B74D738859462F9732872C"><p>​<span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">I</span><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;"> </span><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">invite you to join me in exploring <a href="http&#58;//globalpix.smugmug.com/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign/Uganda-Malaria-Program/42823098_Grq9Vb#%21i=3337119802&amp;k=vC9CcSK">Uganda</a> and <a href="http&#58;//globalpix.smugmug.com/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign/Mozambique-Malaria-Program/42825178_XFc7LR#%21i=3369305331&amp;amp%3bk=hgpqM96">Mozambique​</a> through the Lutheran malaria program. I have spent several weeks poring over (and writing captions for) hundreds of photos of the malaria programs in Uganda and Mozambique supported by the ELCA Malaria Campaign. In the process I have learned an extraordinary amount about the ELCA, the Malaria Campaign, the disease of malaria, the countries of Uganda and Mozambique and the programs we support there. It has been a great experience to be immersed into an organization this way. The most moving piece has been the people in the photos - their stories, facial expressions and their eyes. It is a powerful story told through the eyes of a human being.</span></p><p>I feel a bit like I've been on an amazing trip to Uganda and Mozambique. I am now longing to return, to a place I have never been, to hear more stories. To hear more from Stella, a Village Health Team member in Uganda, who seems to have a quiet personality and an amazingly compassionate heart. I yearn to chat with Juma to learn more about his passion for a small business that helps protect his neighbors in Mozambique from malaria. I want to sit with Joyce and her grandson Ivan as they wait to be seen at the hospital in Katakwi, Uganda. To personally hear stories from Irene, Eedy, Michael, Jasca, Amelia and Christie, or play with children like Dan, Judith, Rose and Dirk, would make my heart burst with joy. </p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Uganda%201%20compressed.jpg" alt="Uganda 1 compressed.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; This young girl in Katakwi, Uganda has just completed malaria testing at an open clinic hosted by the Village Health Team as a part of the Lutheran malaria program in Uganda. </em></p><p>These galleries include so many amazing stories. Even so, some of the photos I connect with most do not have personal stories to accompany them.&#160; But these photos have some of the most incredible stories, because these individuals tell their story purely through their eyes. I find myself gazing at their faces, with a huge smile on mine, wondering what they would tell me about their lives. Many of the stories here speak of a struggle caused by malaria and the challenges produced by poverty. Yet, then there is a story of hope and communities lifting themselves up.&#160; It is a story of empowered local leaders taking a stand against this preventable and treatable disease. &#160;It is a story of community leaders creating amazing and powerful results, positively impacting the community for long into the future. </p><p>I invite you to fall in love with these communities and stories and people of Uganda and Mozambique. They have remarkable stories to share with you. It is well worth the look. Check out our new photo galleries for the <a href="http&#58;//globalpix.smugmug.com/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign/Uganda-Malaria-Program/42823098_Grq9Vb#%21i=3337119802&amp;k=vC9CcSK">Uganda Malaria Program</a>&#160;and the <a href="http&#58;//globalpix.smugmug.com/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign/Mozambique-Malaria-Program/42825178_XFc7LR#%21i=3369305331&amp;k=hgpqM96">Mozambique Malaria Program</a>.​ Be sure to check out<a href="http&#58;//globalpix.smugmug.com/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign"> all of the ELCA Malaria Campaign galleries​</a> for a special glimpse into&#160;the malaria programming in Africa.&#160;​</p><p>Keep your eyes out for more galleries to follow. Next up is Nigeria and Tanzania!&#160;</p></div>07/11/2014"We are going to sleep well" – The Lutheran malaria program in ZambiaJessica Nipp Hackerhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/237http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/237<div class="ExternalClassBA577D0B015845DCA06CABF9DD988FD0"><p>​<span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">Long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets are one very important part of the comprehensive, community-based malaria programs that the ELCA Malaria Campaign supports.</span></p><p><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">In Zambia, net distributions happen in conjunction with thorough community education, so that every person receiving a net knows how malaria is transmitted and why sleeping under a net is the healthiest choice they can make for their family.</span><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">&#160; </span><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">Community education also ensures that program participants know how to hang, tuck in and store a net properly, how to wash it when necessary (with bar soap, not laundry soap), how to mend holes, and how to reactivate the insecticide when its effectiveness starts to fade.</span></p><p><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;"><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/NEW%20net%20distribution%20for%20web.jpg" alt="NEW net distribution for web.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></span></p><p><em>Photo&#58; during a net distribution in Zambia, trained volunteers demonstrate proper use and maintenance of a mosquito net. </em><em>&#160;</em><em>Photo by Matt Jeppson</em></p><p>After a net distribution in Masombo congregation near Chavuma, Zambia, l<span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">ocal elder Mr.&#160;</span>Manjomba&#160;<span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">is thrilled that t</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">he membe</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">rs of his congregation have been able to participate in the Lutheran mal</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">aria program i</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">n Za</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">mbi</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">a.&#160;</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">&quot;Today, we are happy because everyone in our congregatio</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">n has received a long-lasting insecticide-treated net (LLIN), including our children,&quot; Mr.&#160;</span>Manjomba<span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">&#160;explains.</span><span style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;">&#160;</span></p><p>The Lutheran malaria program in Zambia works with a grassroots network of Lutheran congregations in mostly rural areas, reaching out to the members of the congregation and to their neighbors with education and malaria-prevention resources, including nets. &#160;</p><p>&quot;Starting from now we are going to sleep well,&quot; says Mr. Manjomba,&#160;&quot;rather than [experiencing the] sleepless nights we always had, being bitten by mosquitoes and suffering from malaria. We are now saying bye-bye to malaria.&quot;</p><p><em><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/NEW%20Net%20distribution%20for%20web%202.jpg" alt="NEW Net distribution for web 2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>Photo&#58; members of Masombo Lutheran congregation show off the nets they received from the Lutheran malaria program in Zambia, which also provided comprehensive malaria education. Photo by Oscar Musangu</em></p><p>Armed with malaria knowledge and their new nets, malaria program participants from Masombo congregation are ready to bring malaria-reducing behaviors into their households-- and say bye-bye to malaria!&#160;</p></div>07/08/2014Parlor Dining for the ELCA Malaria CampaignAllison Beebehttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/236http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAMalariaCampaign/236<div class="ExternalClassC3C4B5F08F014A569A15345C91F50E5F"><p>​<em style="line-height&#58;1.6;">Today's post was submitted by Vicki Hanrahan, Synod communicator and Event Manager for the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin. The story originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of the synod's </em><span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">Walking Together</span><em style="line-height&#58;1.6;"> magazine.</em></p><p><em style="line-height&#58;1.6;"><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Dinner%205.jpg" alt="Dinner 5.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></em></p><p>Pesto Peeps, Ramen was Gouda, Classic Meatloaf Chill Greasers, Blueberry Delight. Such was the dinner menu of Parlor Street Dining on Dewey Street, a remarkable ministry of Brett and Brandee Christensen who are raising money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign in a creative, resourceful way.&#160; On the first Saturday of each month, Brett and Brandee Christensen transform their parlor in their early century home on Dewey Street into a community dinner where up to 16 people gather around a meal for conversation and fellowship…all in an effort to raise awareness and money in order to make a difference in ending deaths from Malaria. </p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Dinner%202.jpg" alt="Dinner 2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; Gracious hosts Brandee, Katie and Brett.​</em></p><p>When you arrive, you are welcomed by their son, Kyle or daughter, Katie, who serves you a refreshment as you walk in the door and gives you an ELCA Malaria Campaign sticker to wear.&#160; Brett then welcomes you to the Parlor where others are gathered for conversation while Brandee and Katie and other helpers prepare culinary delights in the kitchen. People from all over our synod come to experience Parlor Street Dining on Dewey Street! The cost is $25/person and 100% of the proceeds support the ELCA Malaria Campaign. &#160;</p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Dinner%203.jpg" alt="Dinner 3.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; Kyle, Katie and Matt doing a dessert &quot;practice run&quot; for the January Parlor Dining Event.​</em></p><p>Brett begins the evening with a story of how this ministry was on their hearts. Brandee had seen a story on the &quot;Today Show&quot; where a mother of three children explained the sadness her children felt when they looked at the empty chair at their dinner table where their father usually sat. He served in the military and had been deployed, so the mother had the idea of filling the chair once a week with someone different from the community so the table wouldn't feel so empty. Brandee saw this and it inspired this idea. He explained, &quot;She has a few things that bring her passion…one is creating community and the other is she loves to cook for people!&quot; She also knew how Brett was passionate about the ELCA Malaria Campaign to overcome Malaria in 13 countries and so they decided they could combine their passions into something that mattered! &#160;</p><p>After sharing their story, Brett then shepherds each person to their designated seat where you are welcomed with a nameplate and a tablescape reflecting that evening's theme. On the wall is a chalkboard with Malaria facts&#58; 655,000 people die from Malaria each year; 90% of people who die from Malaria live in Africa; the ELCA Malaria Campaign Fund provides healthcare, medicine, mosquito nets, and education. Themes for the dining experience have included Mardi Gras where Jambalaya was on the menu. We were surprised by our evening's theme of &quot;Classic Calendar Cuisine,&quot; and National Grilled Cheese Day served as the inspiration for our meal. You can't begin to imagine how many different ways grilled cheese can be enjoyed, but each course of the four courses was delicious and unique. &#160;</p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Dinner%201.jpg" alt="Dinner 1.jpg" style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><em>Photo&#58; People&#160;from the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin gather for the meal.&#160;</em></p><p>While the food and the atmosphere make it a special evening, the opportunity to make new friends and meet new people is especially fun. Among the many thoughtful touches to the evening, Brett and Brandee provide conversation starters including conversation about one's own passions. &#160;</p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Malaria%20Campaign/AllItems/Dinner%204.jpg" alt="Dinner 4.jpg" style="line-height&#58;20.799999237060547px;margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p>As guests were leaving they could be heard saying, &quot;Mmmmm good!,&quot; and &quot;I'm so full!&quot; and &quot;Food is great, company is great, and all for a good cause!&quot; Rev. Peder Johanson who attended with his wife, Kirsten, reflected, &quot;Makes me want to do something like this.&quot; Well done Christensen family! </p><p><em>Many thanks to Vicki for sharing this story and especially to the Christensen family! Thank you for sharing your home and your love of cooking with so many people, all to support the work of our partners in Africa through the ELCA Malaria Campaign.&#160;</em></p></div>07/03/2014