Today is World Malaria Day, and dozens of congregations across the Florida Conference are expected to mark the occasion with a pancake breakfast, video showing or some other community event to help meet a conference goal of $2.5 million for Imagine No Malaria by year's end. For information or to donate, visit imagineflorida.org.
Funds raised through such events help fight malaria in Africa, a continent hard hit by the deadly mosquito-borne disease. The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign, begun in 2008, aims to raise $75 million by 2016. About $8.5 million of funds raised so far have gone to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to implement the following:
• education, prevention and treatment programs for affected communities;
• revitalizing health facilities;
• supporting hospital and health care human resource development.
Dr. Olusimbo Ige, executive director of Global Health, a unit of UMCOR's Global Ministries, offers this prayer in observance of World Malaria Day, April 25, 2015.
God of hope and of the future, we pray for all those around the world who today are reminded of the loss of friends and loved ones who succumbed to malaria. We pray for those who suffer from the burning fever and painful aches of this dreadful disease, and for those who live in constant dread of the bite of deadly mosquitoes, that they find respite from their pains and that you fill their hearts with hope and reassurance of a malaria-free future.
We also pray that we would always remember to give, pray, support and partner with those who daily fight the scourge of malaria in whatever little or big way— that they be filled with hope as they continue to work towards a malaria-free world. Amen.