Thursday, October 11, 2012

Letter from Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky

They used to say that a person dies of Malaria every 30 seconds.  It’s a preventable disease.  Now they say a person dies every 60 seconds.  It’s still too many, but it’s a giant step toward eliminating Malaria death. 

Bom Dia.  Good day. 

The view from the Mountain Sky is across many miles and lands to a city on the Atlantic coast of Africa.  By the time you receive this, six of us from the land of the Mountain Sky will be traveling toward Luanda, Angola to participate in an anti-Malaria bed net distribution in the town of Bom Jesus (Good Jesus), southeast of the capital of Luanda.  Four years ago the Rocky Mountain Conference raised $125,000 to fight Malaria in Angola to honor Bishop Warner Brown and his wife, Minnie, as they completed their eight years of service in the Denver Area. 

Four years later, UMCOR has worked with the West Angola Annual Conference to form and train a Health Ministry Office and created a plan to use the funds well.  Now, through a partnership between the Rocky Mountain Conference, the West Angola Conference, UM Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the UM Commission on Communications (UMCOM), AfriCare all under the umbrella of Imagine No Malaria (INM), families living on the marshy banks of a river where mosquitos breed will receive education about Malaria and bed nets to protect them from the deadly bite.

We’re fighting Malaria, but we are also building health care capacity in a nation where it is rare.  And we are building a partnership with people who are spreading the grace and teachings of Jesus Christ to people who hunger and thirst. 

Six of us are honored to represent all the people and churches of the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Annual Conferences.

·         Rev. Michael Dent, senior pastor, Trinity UMC, Denver and co-chair of Rocky Mountain Imagine No Malaria campaign
·         Robin Ball, Pagosa Springs UMC, chair RMC Board of Global Missions and co-chair of Rocky Mountain Imagine No Malaria campaign
·         Kunle Taiwo, Park Hill UMC, Denver and RMC co-lay leader and member of Rocky Mountain Imagine No Malaria campaign
·         Rev. Burl Kreps, retired clergy RMC, and former missionary to Angola
·         Margaret Novak, Chester UMC, Montana and co-chair of Yellowstone Imagine No Malaria campaign.
·         And ME, your bishop. 

Together with representatives of other partner groups and local officials in Bom Jesus, and a VIM team from California Nevada Conference including Bishop Brown, we will demonstrate the good news that Jesus Christ wants every beloved child of God to live life fully – free from Malaria.

We’re taking:
·         postcards of the Rocky Mountains
·         T-shirts from our churches and youth events
·         medications and bandages for a clinic
·         children’s books
·         Portuguese Upper Room prayer guides for persons living with HIV, AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and other grave diseases. 

Please pray for us as we travel and as we celebrate a family reunion of sorts with kin we have never met before.  Oh, God’s house has many rooms.  The people in it speak many languages.  Each life is precious and distinct.  Jesus wants everyone to live life to its fullest.  What a joy to be invited to help that vision become reality.

When we return on October 19 we’ll bring a song to share, and new cousins to tell you about from the other side of the world.  We’ll invite you to do more, to give more, to raise more, to sing more.  How can we keep from singing?

. . .the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job. . .
Philippians 1: 6
Elaine J. W. Stanovsky

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