“I have an incredible story of celebration for our church that you, members of the Iowa Conference have shaped,” said Sheri Atland, campaign director of Imagine No Malaria. “Today, together, our grassroots actions are uniting and informing the people of our church and beyond our doors to the communities that we serve.”
In 2014, the Iowa Annual Conference celebrated surpassing their goal of giving $2 million dollars. It has continued to grow and today donations top $2.1 million dollars that are directly impacting 4,500 families, villages and countries since last June. Today United Methodists celebrate a $67 million dollar milestone in committed cash and pledges. These donations are improving global health infrastructures and addressing poverty.
“Yes, Iowa, you continue to bring change with your own milestone,” Sheri said. “I see a room full of big dreamers. A room full of people who don’t back down and who rise to the challenge.”
“Bishop,” Sheri said, “we are a generous and creative bunch. We have consumed a record number of 55-gallon drums of lemonade, pies, chili and enchiladas. Iowa, you started the pancake revolution across Methodism!”
“We’ve biked, skated, run, rolled and bounced across America. We have jumped into freezing lakes and parachuted from flying airplanes, we’ve paid challenges to move people out of their favorite Sunday seats or had them pay to stay in that seat.”
The death rate from malaria has already been cut in half. Last year 235,000 cases of malaria were successfully treated. Thousands of volunteers have been trained and millions of African families have been educated.
Sheri Atland presented Bishop Trimble along with Bob Burkhart, chair of the Imagine No Malaria committee and Katie Dawson, Imagine No Malaria Iowa’s former coordinator, with a plaque thanking the Iowa Conference for reaching the goal.
Before a thank you video was played, Sheri said, “Who best can say thank you then those whose future is because we hear and respond to God’s call to heal and bring change with Christ’s message of hope.”