Global Ministries: The United Methodist ChurchClick to skip to content.

 About Us  Our Work  Get Connected  How to Give  Resources  Mission News
Facebook Twitter YouTube print. email.

Gates Thanks United Methodists For Partnership

by Kathy L. Gilbert

 
William H. Gates Sr. GC2008
William H. Gates Sr. addresses delegates and visitors to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference on May 1 in Fort Worth, Texas. Gates, the father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and a co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke on the need to eradicate malaria worldwide.
Image by: Mike DuBose
Source: United Methodist News Service
Gates Thanks United Methodists For Partnership/William H. Gates Sr. GC2008
Gates Thanks United Methodists For Partnership/William H. Gates Sr. addresses delegates and visitors to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference on May 1 in Fort Worth, Texas. Gates, the father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and a co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke on the need to eradicate malaria worldwide.
Image by: United Methodist News Service

FORT WORTH, Texas (UMNS)-United Methodists have decided to wipe out malaria because "brothers and sisters don't sit back and let each other die," said William H. Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"I am here today to thank you," he told the 2008 United Methodist General Conference on May 1, during its worldwide legislative meeting.

"We are proud to be your partner in this campaign to end the world's worst killer of children. We believe the campaign cannot succeed without you."

The United Methodist Church is a founding partner of the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign, which fights the disease by purchasing and distributing insecticide-treated sleeping nets in Africa. More than $20 million has been raised since the campaign began in 2006.

The church also recently received a $5 million grant from the U.N. Foundation, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to fight malaria and other diseases of poverty. The money will support a fund-raising and educational campaign to help prevent deaths related to malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Mutual responsibility

Gates addressed the General Conference during its 10-day meeting to decide church policy for the next four years. Working to achieve global health is one of the denomination's four newly named areas of focus.

"Almost 300 years ago, your founder, John Wesley, explained the moral implications of what is now fashionably called globalization," he said. "Wesley's statement 'I look on all the world as my parish,' describes our mutual responsibility."

Gates, founding partner of a Seattle law firm and the father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, asked the nearly 1,000 delegates to make a personal commitment to help The United Methodist Church end malaria. He said the fight is going to take billions of dollars, more health clinics in more countries and politicians who make the goal a priority.

"But more than anything, the fight against malaria is going to take a firm commitment to John Wesley's idea," he said. "You are 12 million people armed with the conviction that all the world is your parish. That makes you the most powerful weapon there is against malaria."

Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa, of the church's Zimbabwe Area, offered thanks to Gates and the church for all the bed nets that have and will be distributed in Africa. Nhiwatiwa said he had participated in distributing nets in a small village in Zimbabwe.

"That village is very far away, but your helping hand has reached there," he said. Nets that save "tender children are the future of Africa and all of us."

*Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service.


More General Conference 2008 News


 
See Also...
Topic: General Conference
Geographic Region: World
Source: United Methodist News Service
 
 

Date posted: May 02, 2008