by the Rev. Richard Norman
Some weeks before the arrival of Lent began, our Sunday School at St. Mark's Cathedral, in preparation for the start of our Nets for Life campaign, began to raise the awareness of our Cathedral young people to the reality of malaria for those in sub-Saharan Africa. This stimulated conversations in our household between our children (Hudson, aged 8, and Olivia, aged 6), my wife Adrienne and me. Adrienne and I were able to speak to our children about our own personal experiences in sub-Saharan Africa (before the children were born) and what we did to avoid malaria (in addition to nets we were blessed to also have anti-malarial drugs). The children had a real grasp as to the importance of Nets for Life and how it could save lives. Adrienne and the children decided that the children would each place a quarter in a mite box at breakfast, lunch and supper after saying grace and before beginning to eat. Of course on school days the lunchtime quarter would have to be put in the box with the supper quarter. On one or two occasions, Adrienne or I forgot to pass the mite boxes to the children at a meal-- not to worry, as both Hudson and Olivia would gently, but firmly, remind us of their covenant to give a quarter at each meal. It became a real pattern for them. When the campaign finished Olivia and Hudson were very proud and happy to have their quarters provide five nets for those who could use them. The Easter message of life and hope took on a new meaning for our family this year as a result of Nets for life.