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‘Abundance mentality’ fighting malaria

 

Kloe Sharp distributed cards with facts about malaria during the youth-sponsored
Kloe Sharp distributed cards with facts about malaria during the youth-sponsored "Skeeto Fair" at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church.
COURTESY GINGHAMSBURG UMC

What does being a good steward have to do with Imagine No Malaria (www.imaginenomalaria.org)?

For the 4,000 members of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio, it means a commitment to raising $1 million over the next five years to donate to the initiative.

Ginghamsburg is the first large church in the denomination to make such a large and long-term commitment.

"God releases heaven's resources through his people to meet the needs of those who cry out," said the Rev. Mike Slaughter, lead pastor. "We sometimes hesitate to give because too many of us have a scarcity mentality rather than an abundance mentality. We convince ourselves there is never enough to go around, instead of remembering that our heavenly father has 'cattle on a thousand hills' (Psalm 50:10)."

Annie Denlinger invites guests to have fun and learn about malaria at the
Annie Denlinger invites guests to have fun and learn about malaria at the "Skeeto Fair" youth sponsored to support Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church's efforts to raise $1 million for Imagine No Malaria.
COURTESY GINGHAMSBURG UMC

"We have been working in Africa for quite some time," said Karen Smith, Ginghamsburg's executive director for missional operations. "Since 2005, we have invested $6.2 million through UMCOR in Darfur for sustainable agriculture, child protection and safe water."

"We are a very blessed church," Smith continued. "We are not wealthy. If we have four weeks of cash, we are doing well. We believe God expects us to be faithful."

Slaughter added, "Christ's charge to every Christian and every local church is to proclaim the kingdom, preach, teach and heal. 'Healing' malaria is where Jesus is leading the church today. We must be about doing what Jesus is doing and working where Jesus is working!" he proclaimed.

The 7th through 12th graders at Ginghamsburg are also learning about stewardship through the campaign. They hosted a "Skeeto Fair" with bed net-related and other educational games about malaria and are asking church members to make a donation equivalent to the age they will reach during this birthday year.

Sandra Long Weaver, communications coordinator, Imagine No Malaria, United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.