Celebrating Imagine No Malaria
Holston Annual Conference
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Almighty and Everlasting God, you are our God from age to age and even minute to minute.
In an earlier age, you guided doctors and scientists as they found ways to eliminate deaths from malaria in our country. And we watched as our neighbors–especially the children and poor who had long suffered from this preventable disease, no longer succumbed to it. So today God, we are able to say “thank you.” Thank you for the gifts of our lives, our families, our friends, and our communities who no longer live under the threat of death by malaria. Our children thrive, our communities flourish, and tonight especially, we are grateful for the eradication of malaria in our cities and among our must vulnerable citizens.
But Lord, we also realize that minute by minute, malaria still takes the lives of far too many. These are people that we love–friends in Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Liberia; and countless others who remain nameless and faceless to us, and yet who we are called to love even more than we love ourselves. That’s why we are here tonight, God. Because you have given us a way to serve a special need in this world, and we have sought over the last year to respond to your call.
We pray that you would bless the work that we have done; from Rising Fawn, Georgia, to Riner, Virginia; from Fancy Gap, Virginia to Oneida, Tennessee. May the gifts that we have given become a blessing to the still vulnerable children, families, and communities in Africa. We pray that one day they too can watch their children grow to adulthood because they have the gift of living without malaria. We know, God, that you are the generous giver of life. And we are grateful that we can respond to your love and generosity by giving to others with that same love and generosity.
But help us, Lord, to remember that our work does not end tonight. Through your son, Jesus Christ, you have connected us eternally with all people everywhere, and most especially those who suffer. May we not rest until people have to ask what “malaria” is and they can’t find the word in the dictionary. May we not rest until every person has the same chance to experience your wonderful, abundant life. May we not rest until the world is healed and the world is saved by the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.