By Beth Snodderly
The Economist reported in October 10, 2015: “Since 2000, malaria deaths around the world have fallen by nearly half. The steepest drop has come in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of fatalities occur. Malaria still kills around 450,000 people each year—most of them children in Africa. But the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that better control prevented the deaths of 3.9m African children between 2001 and 2013. … Previous efforts to rid the world of malaria failed because the political will and funds dried up before the disease was conquered. This time it is vital that efforts to stamp out malaria do not become victims of their own success.”
Ralph D. Winter wrote in 2008: “We have greater opportunities and greater obligations than ever in history. Yet the chasm between our unemployed resources and an effective challenge to big world problems is very great. It is apparent that organized believers are largely missing in the conduct of the Kingdom of God, in bringing His will into the dark and suffering places in our world. … Getting people reconciled to God AND to His Kingdom business must go together. Otherwise our absence at the front lines of major global problems means we are misrepresenting God’s will and misusing the wisdom and resources He has given us to act out and speak out His love and glorify His Name among all peoples.”
In 2008 billionaire Ted Turner announced he was partnering with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the United Methodist Church to raise funds to stop deaths from global malaria.
In January, 2016, the ELCA announced it had reached its $15 million goal of funds raised to combat malaria through its relief and development arm. “Thank you for naming suffering as contrary to God’s will and working to correct injustice,” an ECLA blog stated in announcing the successful conclusion of the ELCA Malaria Campaign.