For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicki Biggs, 314-996-1236, 314-556-3829 (cell), @theLCMS @LCMSconvention
Photo: Martha Mitkos, director of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, speaks in support of Res. 2-06, encouraging a strong finish for LMI
Photo courtesy LCMS Communications
LCMS congregations, schools, partners encouraged to support campaign with strong finish
ST. LOUIS, July 24, 2013—With a unanimous voice vote yesterday, the nearly 1,200 delegates to the 65th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) affirmed Resolution 2-06, encouraging a strong finish for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI).
LMI is a partnership of Lutheran World Relief and the LCMS to mobilize U.S. Lutherans in the global fight to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa. Originally made possible by support from the United Nations Foundation, LMI seeks to raise $10 million for malaria prevention, education and treatment. The campaign has raised $7.6 million to date.
Delegates gave thanks to God for LMI’s contributions to the worldwide effort to end malaria-related deaths in Africa. In 2010, just prior to the public launch of LMI, a child in Africa died every 30 seconds from malaria. Today the death rate from malaria has decreased by half.
“Today is truly a day to pray, praise and give thanks!” said Martha Mitkos, director of LMI for the LCMS. “Last month, the World Health Organization announced that we have made ‘huge, but fragile’ progress in the fight to end malaria deaths. While the statistics are dramatically improved, 1,440 children still die every day from a disease that is completely preventable and treatable. Now is the time for LCMS congregations, schools, individual members and our partners to help us finish strong!”
The Lutheran Malaria Initiative is slated to conclude on World Malaria Day, April 25, 2014. However, LMI programs in Africa will continue until all funds are depleted.
The LCMS in convention thanked LWR and the United Nations Foundation for their partnership in LMI and thanked the church’s congregations, schools, agencies and households for their generosity and creativity in providing for the health needs of their brothers and sisters in Africa.
Mitkos echoed the words of the resolution: “Thank you for your faithful prayers for LMI, your gifts in support of programming and your efforts to help our partners overseas increase their capacity to serve those in need in their communities. This truly is an example of reaching out in love with Christ’s hand of mercy to help our neighbors in need, as each of us is called to do.”
The Synod convention, which runs through July 25, serves as the principal legislative assembly for the church body. Along with the consideration of some 116 resolutions, the convention includes opportunities for worship and fellowship. Convention participants include 1,191 clergy and lay voting delegates.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.