Letters‎ > ‎From the Field‎ > ‎

June 2017

Lutheran Mobile Clinic (CAMM - Lilongwe, Malawi)   

June, 2017

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

Greetings from the warm heart of Africa,

How do you feel about surprises?  Do you enjoy surprises, or do you prefer to make and follow a plan? 

Most people probably enjoy lovely surprises but aren’t so keen on surprises that introduce stress.

At clinic, I work at the pharmacy station, filling and labeling pill bags.  It is interesting to watch the children as they slide down the bench to receive their medication from the nurse.  They see the vaccine station just beyond the pharmacy nurse and can certainly hear the babies getting their shots.  Most of the children do not squirm because they can see that they are not in the line with all the needles.  I imagine their thoughts are something like, “Whew, I’m glad I’m not in that line!”

From time to time, though, the pharmacy nurse administers the needed medication via injection.  Much to their surprise, some of the children slide down the bench and suddenly find themselves in front of the nurse who is holding a syringe.  At this point, I imagine their thoughts are something like, “Wait a minute…this wasn’t supposed to happen to me in this line!!!”  That’s when the squirming and crying begins and the parent holds tightly to the child while they receive what they need.

Have you been surprised by circumstances or events?  Maybe you feared that your boss would issue you a pink slip, but much to your delight, instead awarded you with a promotion!  Then again, perhaps you planned to retire with a comfortable income, but now you’re not sure if you’ll ever be able to retire.  Do you find yourself wondering what the Lord is up to when He sends you a surprise?  Or perhaps you are most surprised when an event seems negative at first, but then turns out to be a wonderful blessing.

LMC has had a few surprises this year.  We no longer receive many needed supplies from the Malawian government.  LMC has a new head nurse and we are also beginning our preparations for the new Nurse in Charge on the field.  In addition, the Malawi Lutheran Medical Council has a new member.

Just as the parents at clinic hold their surprised and distressed children, so our Father holds us as we squirm with our surprises.  Our God declares that our situations do not surprise Him.  His ways involve neither accident nor guesswork.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  

Even in the most surprising circumstances, the Lord invites us to seek His wisdom and guidance to know and accept His thoughts and plans, because His plans are so much better than ours could ever be!

Your sister in Christ,

 Amanda Artz,                                                                                                                                                                                        Clinic Administrator                                                                                                                                                                          Lutheran Mobile Clinic, Malawi