As LWR’s Regional Communications Officer for East Africa, Brenda Kimaro meets many of the pastors, evangelists, Sunday school teachers and volunteers who are working together to protect their families and communities from malaria. Here is one of their stories.
Pastor Meshack Ngare has been leading the Samanga Lutheran Parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya for twelve years. He keeps busy overseeing the activities of the eight sub-congregations that are part of his parish; the farthest being more than seven miles from the parish center (he travels between congregations either on foot or on a hired motorcycle).
“As a church, it is our responsibility to serve the total person,” he told me when I asked why he joined the Lutheran Malaria Initiative project in Kenya. Samanga is the only Lutheran parish is the Rachuonyo North District of Kenya, making it key to serving that area in malaria education.
Pastor Meshack sees the malaria work as a complement to his ministry: “The people will see we aren’t only going to them with the gospel, but with other necessities also,” he said. “We are helping them to be healthy spiritually, and physically.”
The pastor educates members of his parish through the Sunday School, Children’s Bible Club and from the pulpit. “People take very seriously what they hear in the church. People are getting it right from us to use nets to save lives.”