Letters

Like A Mother

     They carry their children on their backs, leaving home before the sun has fully risen.  Baskets, containing what they need for the day, rest on their

heads.  Some of these women travel on foot for hours to reach the clinic where they can receive much-needed care for their sick children.  They seek medications, vaccinations, or the added nourishment their children require.  Afterwards, they return home- the children on their backs, baskets on their heads.  These mothers do not consider the care of their children a burden too great to bear. 

 

     Sometimes, the everyday routines or the unexpected challenges of working in a foreign mission field make me question whether the work we are doing is worth the effort.  Are we accomplishing anything?  Will we see any of these people in heaven?  Then I am reminded by these women and by the words of the Apostle Paul in

 

I Thessalonians 2:7-8, “But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.  We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”

 

     At Lutheran Mobile Clinic, not only do these mothers receive the care they need for their physical ailments or for those of their children, but they also hear the Gospel message of the Great Physician who cures their spiritual ills.  Is the work and effort worth it?  Yes, it is!  Every minute!

 

Maria Reese

Lutheran Mobile Clinic Administrator






New life to garden plots at Lutheran Mobile Clinic sites

 

Since October 2014, Alison Westphal and Kari Belter have been working with the Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology to bring new life to the garden plots at

a couple of the Lutheran Mobile Clinic sites. A local Non-Government Organization called Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology has been sending educators to two of our four clinic sites to help plan and implement household-level permaculture. They use a “see, hear, and do” approach to training. One of their expectations is that those receiving the training will share the information they learn in their communities. Groups of eight villagers are selected to be part of a nine week training program.  On the first day of our training, holes were dug to plant banana trees where excess water drains from our borehole at the clinic. A meter tall compost pile was made using green leaves, dried maize stalks, manure, ash and water. The gardens focus on organic growing using resources found near the villages.  Options of materials were explained to us for when these items are unavailable. After 18 days the compost will be ready to use! Our staff also planted a bed for tomatoes and greens using the same items that were used in the compost pile. Watering only needs to be done once every three days in a bed like this. Malawians, just like many others, use lots of artificial fertilizers. We are hoping they will learn ways of making things grow that will not harm their environment while also learning to grow more indigenous plants. This is a very exciting program that educates and provides food to those in need. It would be very helpful if the villagers learn growing techniques to provide food year-round.  They are expected to continue the program at their homes and eventually show others the benefits of organic growing. Kusamala teaches functional and edible landscaping, nutritional cooking, soil conservation, water management, plant propagation and seed saving among other things. They have suggested plants such as herbs be added around our clinic buildings to prevent erosion.  These plants would be both beautiful and edible.  Two of other clinic staff are already sharing their new knowledge by implementing some of the techniques at the other clinic sites.  


(Alison W.)