Thursday, April 25, 2013

To Stop A Killer

People make a big deal out of me, which is kind of strange because I am so small.  I'm big enough to see and hear, but small enough that one swipe of the hand would do me in.  I am a mosquito.  No big threat, right?  But I'm not just any mosquito - I am a mosquito that carries the parasite, plasmodia.  I can't control the plasmodia; it is so small that 50 thousand plasmodia can be found in a drop of blood the size of a period.  I've been told that when I take blood from someone, that person gets infected with plasmodia, which causes malaria.  Look, I'm just here to survive; I can't go around worrying if I'm infecting someone.  I'm just looking for the easiest place to find food.  You know where the best place is?  Anywhere where you can find poverty.  Third world poverty.  You see, there are no doors or screens on windows; there really isn't anything to block me from getting a taste of blood at night!  Poverty.  Nothing stops me there...except the occasional mosquito net.  No big deal, I can easily find someone without a net...

Today, April 25, is World Malaria Day.  When I was in Zambia a few years back, I saw the ugliness of malaria.  I also saw how easy it was for our team to get a hold of medicine to fight malaria.  But it isn't so easy for those in poverty.  Poverty blocks the prevention of malaria and poverty stops the treatment of malaria.  In fact, because of poverty, malaria kills approximately 655,000 children per year; many of who are under the age of 5 and most of who live in sub-Saharan Africa (see footnote 1).  We can do something about it!

When I was in Zambia, most of the places we stayed at had open windows; however, we had mosquito nets over our beds.  But, the last night we were there, we stayed at a place that had open windows and no mosquito nets.  We all felt uncomfortable knowing that we had no nets to protect us, but we were also taking medication to prevent malaria.  The problem is, there are millions of people going to bed each night with no nets to protect them and no medication to treat malaria.  That is where we come in.  Compassion International is working hard to provide nets to children living in areas at the greatest risk of malaria.  A simple net helps protect a child from malaria.  You can help out by making a donation here.

Compassion is the heart of Christ.  He modeled the ultimate compassion for us when He died on the cross.  We see the importance of loving people in the words of Jesus: "Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments,'" Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV).  He told us that we are to love God and love others.  This is one way we can show God's love to others.

1. Courtesy of Compassion International: http://blog.compassion.com/a-creative-writing-assignment-for-world-malaria-day-2013/#ixzz2RTTzQrkq

This post is linked with Compassion International.

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