February 21, 2013
By Sarah Ames
My excitement over Malaria a started with me sitting in the front seat of my dad’s car, shoes off, legs crossed, music in my ears, and the Annual Conference book open to the Learning Centers. My dad and I had headed out early that Wednesday morning for Gordon College. My dad told me to pick out 3 or 4 Learning Center programs for us to attend the next day. So far I had chosen Cancer Support Group and Congregational Development. I was interested in these but not too excited about them. I was just about to close the book when I saw, “Imagine No Malaria.” I’m not sure why that popped out at me, but I decided to definitely go to that one.
During the presentation, I think I took five pages of notes! I said to my dad, “We are doing this at Grace.” We scheduled October 2012 to have Imagine No Malaria as our Sunday school mission project at Grace UMC in Essex Junction, Vermont. I put together a video presentation including pictures and videos from the INM website. I organized a kick-off potluck, where we played INM jeopardy and I answered questions. Our goal was to raise $1000 before the end of the year.
Leading up to the project in the last week of September I had nightmares about mosquitoes. Why? Because in one week the Sunday school and I made 100 pipe cleaner mosquitoes to represent 100 nets and lives saved. I was tired of seeing them, except these mosquitoes are really cute and harmless.
Our results? The church raised over $700. Our mission team gave the rest with a total of $1100 given to Malaria. Doing this project was fun, educational, and rewarding. It made me realize that any church can do something to make a difference and save lives.
Sarah Ames is a youth member of Grace UMC in Essex Junction, VT. Her passion for the fight against Malaria continues, and she is now a member of the Imagine No Malaria Task Force in the New England Conference. Find out more about INM at www.imaginenomalaria.org