Lessons · prayer request · Take Part

Now You Know

Refugee child during LLIN survey.April 25 is World Malaria Day. I never knew until this year such a day existed. I did not know until recently just how threatening and devastating this disease is to so many lives around the world.

They say once we are made aware of a truth, it becomes our responsibility to live in light of that truth. To ignore it is to deny our conscience and what we now know to be true.

And yet, here I am snuggled in a cozy armchair, typing away on my laptop to the soundtrack of The Hobbit. I am not afraid that in my sleep tonight, a mosquito is going to fly its way under my comforter and bite me with a deadly disease. I sat outside for hours today, soaking up the newborn spring, stretching my bare toes into the growing grass and did not once feel endangered or exposed.

Malaria seems far, far away. But unlike so many delicious spring days in the past,  I am not now ignorant to the pain beyond my little world. I have learned that half of the world’s population lives at risk of malaria and that it is the leading cause of death for children under five living in the Sub-Saharan African. Each year over 1 million people die from the disease and in the time it takes to watch this video, one child will have lost their lives to the deadly bite.

One of the saddest facts about malaria is that it is a preventable and treatable disease. Yet in the most severely affected countries, people lack the basic resources and medical help that could save their lives.

My own mosquito net is sitting in my room, waiting to be fit into what by the looks of it will be be a very full suitcase. From a Pennsylvania suburb to a West Africa village where the health system is crippled under overwhelming need. God is on the move. He is moving my heart and by His grace will move my feet. Since the time the Church began, He has been working through the prayers and actions of His people. It is mind-blowing how His gospel-spreading, Christ-glorifying plan stretches across oceans and continents and causes lives that are worlds apart to touch and leave each other changed.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18)

This world is a needy place. Oh how aware I am of the needs within my own heart! The disease of selfishness, discontentment, and pride that sneak in and infect me like an unseen but deadly mosquito bite. Am I so unlike the little child sleeping under a straw roof who is not quick enough to slap the little bugs away? Our hope is found in the same place — Christ.

God’s mercy is the same for each of His children and each of us are in desperate need of it. I am trusting that the healing I have experienced in the gospel of Jesus is what “qualifies” me to serve where the poverty and disease are so beyond anything I know.

There is much I do not know. But I do know that Jesus is a compassionate Savior. I do know that willing hands and a servant’s heart can communicate hope. I do know that God does not give us burdens we cannot handle if we are resting in His arms.

Knowledge is a responsibility. Once you know something, you can not turn back and not know it again. The only way is forward.

Does what you know change how you live?

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” — Mother Teresa

If you desire to make a “small drop” in the fight against malaria, you can donate to Compassion’s Malaria Intervention Project. by clicking here. Research the World Health Organization information site on Malaria to learn how to pray, follow @PioneersAfrica on Twitter for prayer updates.

PS – My halfway goal for support raising is soon approaching on May 1. I am about $800 away from reaching half of my support. If you feel God’s leading to support me financially, you can find information on the Take Part tab. Deepest thanks to all of have encouraged me with gifts and prayer! I am so blessed by the faithfulness of God in this process! 

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