Nearly 100 sites across Iowa are participating in the Pancake Breakfast for Imagine No Malaria. Iowa United Methodist congregations are inviting the community to “Have a bite to eat. Stop a bite that kills.”
“We have a wide variety of churches coming together,” Rev. Katie Dawson, Iowa’s Imagine No Malaria coordinator, said. “Some of our churches are doing suppers instead of breakfasts. One church is even doing a ‘no pancake’ supper – they’re serving sandwiches instead.”
“There’s a church that’s doing a pancake and ‘whole hog’ dinner,” she said. “People are being really creative with the possibilities.”
“The biggest breakfast we have is the Des Moines metro area breakfast. There are, at last count, fourteen churches involved.” It will be at the Ankeny campus of the Des Moines Area Community College. “There’s also a group of six or seven churches in southwest Iowa that are joining together. There are quite a few cities where there will be joint breakfasts with several United Methodist Churches and with churches of other denominations.”
“People are grabbing onto this notion that having a meal, inviting their neighbors to come, and help with this really good cause…It’s exciting to see!” Rev. Dawson noted.
“When we started out with the breakfast idea,” she remembered, “I thought we’d have twenty-five breakfasts. Things have really caught on. People are seeing what other churches are doing and they think, ‘we can do that.’” Within the last week many more congregations are “catching the vision” and organizing breakfasts.
Thinking about the progress, in Iowa, of the effort to help eradicate Malaria, “A lot of churches are really looking forward to the Annual Conference session, wanting to celebrate how far we’ve come. A lot of people are really surprised at the impact that we’ve made so far.”
The Iowa Conference has a goal of raising $2 million by the June 2014 Annual Conference session. “As of the last report we’ve raised $543,000. We’ve saved over 54,000 lives so far,” Rev. Dawson reported. “While the dollars raised are important, it’s really the lives that we’ve saved that means the most.”