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August 2017

Lutheran Mobile Clinic

Lilongwe, Malawi (CAMM) 

August 2017

 “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

Greetings from the warm heart of Africa,

I have been Clinic Administrator at Lutheran Mobile Clinic for about 8 and a half months.  As you might expect, these months have been filled with “firsts”.  This is my first visit to Africa, and the first time I have driven an ambulance.  For the first time, I shook the hand of a real “chief” (chief of Suzi, one of our clinic sites), and have eaten lemons, bananas and papaya from trees in the yard.  I was the soloist in a concert at the German Ambassador’s residence, and actually uttered the words “I miss the DMV”, when I stood in line for 5 days and ducked out of the way of a fist fight to get my Malawian driver’s license.  One of the most memorable of all of the “firsts” so far, though, is my first visit to an orphanage.

When my friend Mindy Holtz (Missionary John Holtz’s wife) asked if I wanted to go to hold and feed babies at a local orphanage I briefly paused.  You see, I’d never been to an orphanage before and I was very nervous about what I would see.  Sadly, I was worried about how I would handle seeing little children in distressful circumstances.  What will I do if the children aren’t well cared for, or they’re ill or they cry nonstop?  What if the building is so dilapidated that I can’t bear to walk away and leave the children there?   

When you’re asked to step outside of your comfort zone, does your head swirl with uncertainties and anxiety?  Mine certainly did.  It’s probably pretty normal, but the devil just loves it.  Satan wants us to be completely absorbed in ourselves and our feelings and how much of our time and our energy these things will take.  But God strategically places each of us and gifts each of us with the time, treasures and talents that He intends each of us to use for His glory and in service to those he places around us.  And He promises that He knows our limits and won’t send more than we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13).

At the Crisis Nursery (a Christian orphanage), I saw that the children were fed, clothed, clean and pretty good at interaction.  The building was clean and fairly well maintained.  Each child had his or her own crib and there were a few toys to play with and a few books to read.  When it was time to go, the children cried, which means they are able to connect.  The staff called the children by name and seemed happy to be working there.  The biggest challenge of the visit was deciding which child to hold next!  

Yes, there have been many “firsts” in these last 8 and a half months, some of which have taken me outside my comfort zone (like getting my Malawian driver’s license).  Some experiences are documented by photos, Facebook posts or journal entries.  My experiences volunteering at Crisis Nursery yield a different return.  You see, the return comes in smiles, giggles and hugs from some of Jesus’ little lambs!

        Your sister in Christ,

            Amanda Artz, Clinic Administrator

            Lutheran Mobile Clinic, Malawi


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