Thursday, April 25 is World Malaria Day

April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 25 is World Malaria Day.  It is a day set aside to focus on the global effort to control malaria. The United Methodist Church is working with others as a part of this effort around the world.

Imagine No Malaria is The United Methodist Church’s comprehensive effort to end death and suffering from malaria. It provides a holistic approach in the fight against malaria that includes prevention, education, and better access to treatment. For more information visit www.imaginenomalaria.org.

Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett has recently announced that in June Rev. Adlene Kufarimai will be appointed as the Imagine No More Malaria Field Coordinator in North Alabama. In this role she will work with the Bishop's Office, the Connectional Ministries Office, United Methodist Communications and Resource Ministry Partners to lead and execute a one-year campaign to raise funds within the North Alabama Conference for Imagine No More Malaria.

Recently Adlene shared her story on www.imaginenomalaria.org:

 

God calls Zimbabwe native to fight malaria

By Adlene Kufarimai*

In my family of eight children in Zimbabwe, none of us died due to malaria because our mother, a village health worker through the World Health Organization, always put us on the malaria preventative medication before the peak season of the mosquito-borne disease. Sometimes, I would try to hide the pills because of their bitterness, but – thank God! – I was fortunate because of my mom’s work.

My mother spent most of her time going from village to village, inspecting areas around homes that could be breeding areas for mosquitoes. She also educated villagers on preventative measures such as covering stagnant water, protecting water wells and taking the full course of malaria medication. A village health worker for more than 20 years, she saved many lives.

When I was growing up, people in our village came to our home nearly every day for malaria pills. We children found it frustrating to see so many sick people. Often, our mother sent us home from the fields to get the medication because she was also working hard in the fields for the family. Our father, a truck driver, was on the road all the time.

My early years influenced my future vocation.

Currently, I help with the children and youth ministry at Glen Addie Community Church, a United Methodist mission in Anniston Ala. My husband, the Rev. Tiwirai Kufarimai, is the senior pastor. However, in June, I will be commissioned as a provisional elder of the North Alabama Annual (regional) Conference, and the Imagine No Malaria field coordinator position will be my full-time appointment.

My district superintendent, the Rev. Sherill Clontz, asked if I was interested in going for the Imagine No Malaria training in Nashville, Tenn. My week of learning gave me the opportunity to reflect on my life as far as malaria is concerned. It made me appreciate my mother’s work. The stories shared during the training strengthened my resolve to save others for the sake of Jesus Christ and challenged me to continue to put my faith into action.

Malaria is a killer disease, but it is preventable and treatable. Last year, I almost lost my young sister, who lives in Malawi, to cerebral malaria. As a mother of two children, I can only imagine how it feels to lose your precious ones.

I believe God has put me in this position for a reason. The death rate due to malaria calls me to participate with enthusiasm and passion to the call of saving lives because mine has been saved, and I am thankful.

Coming on board with the Imagine No Malaria Initiative has been a life-changing experience for me. I thank God that I agreed to be part of this global ministry.

* Kufarimai earned a Master of Arts in Christian education (2003) and a Master of Divinity (2005) at Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta. Now she is working on a Doctor of Ministry degree at Samford University: Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Ala.

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