The extraordinary effort to end death and suffering from malaria on the part of the Iowa Annual
Conference was celebrated at the 2014 Annual Conference Session.
Iowa Field Coordinator for Imagine No Malaria Rev. Katie Dawson began her address of the
2014 Annual Conference Session by detailing the 2010 statistics of exposure to and death from
malaria. At that time one million people were dying each year.
“We decided that is unacceptable,” Rev. Dawson said. “And so we decided to something about
Imagine No Malaria was established in the Iowa Annual Conference in 2012 with the goal of
raising $2 million by 2015 to fight malaria deaths in Africa through communication, education,
treatment and prevention.
Rev. Dawson displayed a map of churches in the Iowa Annual Conference that have participated
in Imagine No Malaria, and let the Conference know that she had spoken at roughly 60 different
churches in the Iowa Annual Conference in the last one-and-a-half years.
The success of Imagine No Malaria Iowa has gone beyond the financial, with Rev. Dawson
explaining that the campaign has resulted in new partnerships among churches and within the
“We’ve also been developing leaders along the way,” said Rev. Dawson.
She offered the example of the few young men who ran across Iowa to raise funds for Imagine
No Malaria. Rev. Dawson also told the story of a mother in Africa whose desperate situation was
turned around by Imagine No Malaria, and then who came back the following week to sign up to
volunteer as a community health worker.
Rev. Dawson shared a video from Imagine No Malaria that highlighted successes, including
statistics that 1.9 million nets have been distributed and 11,600 health workers had been trained.
“What does this mean for us as the people of the United Methodist Church?” asked Rev.
Dawson. “We’ve cut the death rate in half, and every 60 seconds a life is saved because of you.”
She thanked the Imagine No Malaria steering committee and volunteers.
Luke 9:6 Churches, committing to raise at least $25K, were honored: St. Paul UMC, Cedar
Rapids; Ankeny First UMC; Altoona UMC; Grace UMC, Des Moines; First UMC, Mason City;
and Spirit Lake UMC.
Barnabas Churches, with over $100 per worship attendee were honored as well: Salem UMC,
Cedar Rapids; Center Chapel UMC; Donnellson; Anita; First UMC Marengo; Brooks UMC;
Peoria; Trinity UMC, Huxley; First UMC, Des Moine; and Cincinnati UMC.
The tally for Imagine No Malaria Iowa as of Rev. Dawson’s report was $1,956,304.
“That’s 195,630 lives saved,” she said.
We’re imagining a world where every child his safe from malaria, Rev. Dawson said, there’s
more work to do after the $2 million is raised.
Opera star and philanthropist Simon Estes joined Rev. Dawson for her report.
His Iowa Students Care Christmas concert last December raised $100,000 for the Nothing But
Nets program. Estes spoke of additional donations he’d been promised from other major donors
in the coming months, and invited Conference attendees to purchase the CD of the concert, from
which $5 would be donated to Imagine No Malaria.
“This is something I really want to do,” said Estes. “I want to work with all of you.”
CDs of Save the Children – Save Their Lives is available by contacting Imagine No Malaria
Iowa and the Simone Estes Foundation.
A video highlighted an initiative on the part of Pastor Chad Jennings, of Christ Community
UMC in Marian. Rev. Jennings will ride 800 miles through the eight Conferences of the North
Central Jurisdiction to raise funds for one net per-mile. He punctuated the video presentation by
riding his bicycle through the hall.
“Be encouraged,” said Bishop Trimble, before sharing his personal perspective on Imagine No
He spoke of the goal of every church in Iowa participating.
“I’d like to ask other people to get on board,” the Bishop said.
The Imagine No Malaria Iowa report ended with Bishop Trimble honoring Rev. Dawson as Iowa
Field Coordinator of the program.