Lutheran Mobile Clinic (CAMM) Lilongwe, Malawi September, 2017
Imagine: It’s a Monday evening at 6:00pm. You’ve cut your foot on a piece a glass when walking to the store to buy something for dinner. You don’t have a vehicle and so you call a friend to take you to the hospital but when you arrive at the hospital the doctor is not there yet. At this point the doctor is about two and half hours late. You’re stuck sitting on the bench with your friend waiting while someone is trying to track down the doctor.
Well, this is how I spent my Monday evening. One of LMC’s employee’s son, cut his foot open while getting something from the market for dinner. In Malawi, the most common transport is through buses, but they don’t typically run after it gets dark. So I picked the LMC employee, his wife, and their son and brought them to one of the area hospitals. Unfortunately, when we arrived I was informed that the doctor had not shown up for work yet despite the shift starting at 4:30 pm. Brighton, his wife, Mary, and their son, Sunset, sat down to wait. I, however, began to ask many questions:
“Why isn’t the doctor here?”
“How can we get a hold of the doctor so that he/she comes?”
“How long will this take? Do we need to try and go to another hospital?”
With each additional question, I became more and more upset! Even after being in Malawi 2 years and 8 months I was still astonished that there was no doctor on site, despite one being assigned.
While we waited for the doctor to arrive, I tried to redirect my focus from anger to what I could learn from this situation. I noticed how patiently Brighton, Mary, and Sunset were waiting. How quiet they were. Everyday I’m humbled and in awe by the patience Malawians demonstrate. It’s something that after 2 years and 8 months I still struggle with, especially when it comes to the provision of healthcare.
Thankfully, the nurse on duty called the In-Charge of the facility and he came to take care of Sunset! While the In-Charge took care of Sunset, I took a minute to reflect on the care I’m able to receive in the U.S.:
--I can always get to the hospital in an emergency, FAST, by ambulance, even if my employer isn’t the driver.
--I can rest assured that a doctor is at the hospital and that if I have to wait while more urgent cases are seen, my turn will come.
--I know that the health facility will have the needed supplies to take care of me.
Unfortunately, Malawians can’t always count on the same things we easily take for granted.
I’m grateful that LMC has had the opportunity to provide consistent care for the Malawians in the villages we serve each week for the past 50 years. While LMC only provides care at 4 villages once a week, we show up every week and rarely run out of medications. Without LMC, they would have to ride a bicycle or walk over 9 miles to the next health facility, which may or may not have a doctor or supplies.
“I pass through trials all the way, with sin and ills contending; in patience I must bear each day the cross of God’s own sending. Oft in adversity I know not where to flee, when storms of woe my soul dismay; I pass through trials all the way. I walk with Jesus all the way; his guidance never fails me. He takes my every fear away when Satan’s power assails me, and, by his footsteps led, my path I safely tread. In spite of ills that threaten may, I walk with Jesus all the way.” (CW 431 vs. 2 and 5)
Your Sister In Christ,
Nurse In Charge
Lutheran Mobile Clinic
October 23rd, 2016 Commissioning of Amanda Artz at Trinity, Brillion, WI
On Sunday, October 23rd, Amanda Artz was commissioned as the next Clinic Administrator for the Central Africa Medical Mission’s clinics in Malawi, Africa. The service was held at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brillion, Wisconsin, with Pastors Ross Henzi and Thomas Fricke officiating. The children of grades 3-8, the Trinity Ringers (bell choir), and the Forever Praise choir also took part in this special service.
Amanda will begin her service at the Lutheran Mobile Clinic based in Lilongwe, Malawi, the middle of November. Prior to living in Brillion (WI), Amanda lived in Denton (TX), Las Vegas (NV) and Madison (WI). She is a very talented musician and also enjoys being an aunt to several nieces and nephews.
As the administrator, Amanda will represent the Lutheran Mobile Clinic to those in Malawi and will be responsible for the daily operations and financial aspects of the clinic. This includes payroll, taxes, payments, insurance, banking, inventory, maintenance records and schedules, reporting clinic activity to Malawian agencies, ensuring clinic compliance with Malawian rules and regulations, continued development of agricultural plots at the Suzi clinic and various other duties as they arise. Amanda just finished a course in QuickBooks to help her with these tasks.
Our current Clinic Administrator, Alison Westphal, will return stateside in January 2017.
Please continue to pray for Amanda and those working with the Central Africa Medical Missions both in Malawi and Zambia.
Violet Chikwatu to attend nursing school with Althea Sauer Scholarship!
Congratulations to Violet Chikwatu, the newest recipient of the Althea Sauer Scholarship. Violet is the daughter of the Dean of Students at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Lilongwe Malawi Africa. Her home congregation is Crown of Life in Lilongwe.
In her application to the CAMM committee, Violet writes: “Malawi is a country where people are suffering from various types of diseases and since I have traveled in many places I have seen that we don’t have enough medical personnel to assist. I have a passion to help and because of this, strong desires of willing to be a nurse started developing in my mind. I have visited several sites where the Lutheran Mobile Clinic conduct their services and I have been willing to be one of the nurses, working with this clinic if the chance can be there. The fees for schooling are far beyond my parents’ reach.”
Violet completed her entrance exams and has been accepted into the Daeyang School of Nursing.
The Althea Sauer scholarship was established in 1990 by friends of Althea. She and her husband Pastor Theodore Sauer lived among the Zambians and saw the tremendous need for spiritual and medical care. Althea worked as a nurse at the Mwembezhi Lutheran Rural Health Center in the early years of CAMM. The scholarship now assists African members of our sister synod, the Lutheran Church of Central Africa, with their educational expenses while in nursing school or when attending another health professional school. These qualified Christians assist by teaching disease prevention and health practices then to others in their local congregations and their neighbors at home and in the village. We give thanks to the Sauer family for their dedication to continuing Althea and Theodore's commitment to the people in Zambia and Malawi.