The power of partnership

GENEVA

As I fought off jet lag this afternoon, my mind raced with ideas. The meeting with executives from the Lutheran denominations and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was more stimulating than even I had expected, and I was hopeful going in.

The whole day was a lesson in the effectiveness of partnership. Together we can make good things happen. We can save lives. In Global Fund lingo, it’s about scale. Combine resources and skills with a strategy for national coverage and you can make a dent, a significant dent, in the diseases of poverty.

Ethiopia has reduced mortality from malaria by 50 percent in a just a few years with national bed net distribution. Other nations are seeing similar dramatic life-saving change. This happens when resources and skills are aligned, a national plan is created by those who will implement it, and adequate funds are made available. When this happens at scale, the effects of the diseases of poverty can be reduced, if not eliminated.

United Methodists and Lutherans bring much to the table. We are present in remote areas far beyond the end of the road. We’re in rural, under-served villages that lack financial resources but have deep community connections. The people in these villages, our brothers and sisters, are United Methodists and Lutherans. They are us, and we are them. One global community.

I was reminded of this system we United Methodists call our connection. And I kept thinking about what a transforming potential it holds. When we align, focus and partner with others at scale, we can change the world. Even if you’re addled by jet lag, that’s exciting to consider!

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