Work to eradicate malaria deaths starts with God

The morning light washed over the grey concrete walls and through the large white, wrought iron-covered window behind the altar of Charles Davies Memorial United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 1.

At 9 a.m., the soft light touched the faces of the Rev. Mabel Ann Kainyonde and the Rev. Georginia E.M. Maligi, sitting at the front of the church patiently waiting for Sunday services to begin at 10 a.m.

Slideshow

Mobile-friendly link


Worship at Charles Davies Memorial United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 1.

The church is new and still getting finishing touches. The large window, which perfectly frames the back of the sanctuary, has a United Methodist cross and flame at its peak. The ornate design looks like stained glass without the glass and offers an open-air view of the community behind the church.

The church is named for Charles Davies, a young man who died in a car accident. The land for the church was donated by his grieving father, and the parishioners named the church in honor of the son.

By 10, the wooden pews along the sides of the church are filled. At 10:30, church members scurry to bring in plastic chairs as the congregation swells on this Ascension Sunday.

Evangelist Rosaline Sinnah begins the service by having the congregation declare in unison, “Because of Christ I am saved.”

Shy, a bit scared, Peter Jusu, 8, takes his first solo turn at reading Scripture in front of the church. At the end of the service around 12:30 p.m., the children who had been downstairs in the basement for Sunday school stream in from the back door to fill the front of the church. They are drilled on what they learned in church and all leave with two candy lollipops.

“They are happy, happy children,” says the Rev. Sahn E.K. Fallah, pastor, as he watches them walk out to join with their families.

Life-saving program

Several members of the congregation are involved in a campaign that will begin distributing integrated long lasting insecticide nets next week in the city of Bo.

One of those church members, Beatrice Gbanga, a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries and medical coordinator for the United Methodist Sierra Leone Annual (regional) Conference, talked about the power of this “life-saving program.”

“I want to say on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone — the mothers and women — to thank all those people who spent their time selling things, the children selling candy, the penny programs,” she said. “The people who made this campaign possible to pay for the nets. We appreciate all you have done.”

From the pulpit, Fallah also expressed his appreciation.

Imagine No Malaria, what a wonderful thing in this world.”

Campaign history

The United Methodist Church through its Imagine No Malaria program is, this June, partnering with the Sierra Leone government for the second time to supply treated nets nationwide.

The first ever successful mosquito net campaign was conducted in Sierra Leone in November, 2010. The 2014 campaign will replace or supplement the nets given to families in 2010.

The distribution of nets in Bo will be conducted June 5-June 14 and will be followed by the “Hang-Up” campaign nationwide from June 25-29.

Health workers will also administer Albendazole tablets and vitamin capsules targeting children under 5 years and assist with mass distribution of nets to all households in the country.

The goals of campaign are to make sure 95 percent of children from age 6- to 59-months get Vitamin A supplements; 95 percent of children 12-59 months get Albendazole tablets; 100 percent of the population get insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

“If you have even said a prayer for the success of this program, we want to thank you,” said Gbanga.

Gilbert is a multimedia reporter for United Methodist News Service in Nashville, Tenn. Phileas Jusu, director of communications for The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone, contributed to this report.

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE

Latest News

Mission and Ministry
Lydia Chimonyo Girls High School students carry buckets to gather water at a borehole in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. There is no running water at the school since Cyclone Idai damaged the school’s water plant. Photo by the Rev. Duncan Charwadza.

Church mobilizes to help cyclone survivors

Cyclone Idai left a path of destruction in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, killing at least 180 people and damaging United Methodist schools, churches, hospitals and homes.
Mission and Ministry
Artwell Chidhakwa, a driver at United Methodist Nyadire Mission Hospital, holds hands with Maduni Jangamu at an eyeglasses clinic in Dindi, Zimbabwe. Photo by Chenayi Kumuterera, UMNS.

Improving vision and lives in Zimbabwe

Nyadire Connection program provides glasses to more than 4,000 people in rural communities.
Violence
The United Methodist Women Association Cameroon hosts a workshop in Obala, Cameroon, to address gender-based violence in the country. Photo by Collette Ndobe.

Cameroon UMW confront gender-based violence

More than 50 women, representing diverse experiences and roles, gain knowledge to reduce vulnerability to violence and discrimination in a patriarchal society.