Will McCurry, a youth belonging to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Kensington, MD, recently gave the following sermonette to his congregation encouraging youth involvement in Nothing But Nets:
“Every thirty seconds a child will die in sub-Saharan Africa. Every thirty seconds someone’s brother, sister, son, daughter, or friend will die. What is this killer disease? Is it AIDS? Or malnutrition and starvation? No, it’s malaria, one of the world’s most preventable diseases. Malaria kills over one million people per year. Ninety percent of malaria victims are African children.
So what should we do as Christians? Should we let a preventable disease continue to tear families apart?
This summer at the Youth 2007 convention in Greensboro, North Carolina the St. Paul’s Youth Group was presented with this same information and asked this very same question. When Bishop Thomas Bickerton had finished giving a sermon to the youth group, hundreds of youth began to walk towards the stage. I found myself, along with other members of my youth group, drawn towards this mass of teenagers from all walks of life, each of us with one goal in mind – to live out our faith through ministry towards others. In the course of a few minutes the stage was littered with dollar bills that had been thrown on stage as part of our offering. Within only a few minutes we had raised over 16,000 dollars for Nothing But Nets.
We came back to Maryland from the Youth 2007 Convention called to Christian service through this campaign. Part of our Christian faith asks us to minister to the needs of our fellow human beings around the world. God has provided us with a simple and easy way to save lives and live out his word just like the scripture reading from Matthew 25.
What could be simpler than making a ten dollar donation that saves a life? I believe that we are called each and every day to live out our Christian faith. We, the Youth Group are asking you to help us live out that message. We would like to purchase as many bed nets as we can to send to the Nothing But Nets campaign. If you can support us with this campaign, and we hope you can, the Youth Group will be accepting donations today and having fundraisers throughout the rest of this year.
Many tell me that “We, the youth, are the future.” Well, it is the youth of today that will inherit the world of tomorrow. Our actions today can help us create a better world for children who need something as simple as a bed net.
The choice for a better future is here today.
In the time it has taken me to present this to you nine children have died in Africa from malaria.”