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May 2018

A Letter from Africa

“Give thanks unto the lord for he is good; his love endures forever”. 

Its Wednesday today and I woke up to a faint glimmer of hope. The tiny red light on the air conditioner in our bedroom was on, a sign that we still had power. But within a few minutes there was a click, the light faded out and the realization came that once again “No Power Wednesday”, as we lovingly call it, was upon us. Rolling black outs and power outages in general have become common place here in Malawi. When you have rapid population growth and urbanization in what is often regarded as one of the poorest nations in the world, it is hardly surprising that the infrastructure cannot to keep up with fast growing demand. Here in Lilongwe’s area 10, where the Lutheran Mobile Clinic house is situated, we are relatively lucky and typically only have power outages once or twice a week, Wednesday seems to be our day. Over at the Lutheran Bible Institute, where our missionaries live, it’s a different story. Theirs is a less affluent part of town and more often than not family supper is spent in candle light or with power supplied from a generator or battery inverter. 

ESCOM (Electricity Supply Company of Malawi) isn’t alone. Lilongwe’s roadway infrastructure hasn’t kept up with the growth in the number of vehicles. In fact, it is well understood that it is best not to travel from one side of town to the other during evening rush hour, because you will be driving at close to walking speed. There’s even a rule of thumb when shopping: if you see something you might want, buy it now, because you just don’t know when it might be in the store again. 

People have come to expect many aspects of life here to be unreliable. They might get angry or complain from time to time but in general they shrug their shoulders and get on with it.

So in a place where things that are taken for granted in the United States do not always work, its good to know what does. At the villages where we hold clinics, people know that they can rely on the Lutheran Mobile Clinic to show up and to have the medical expertise and medicines they need for themselves and their families. They will see our nurses and staff demonstrating Gods love first hand. They will also hear God’s word in a devotion before clinic, and will know that despite all else in their lives that they cannot rely on, that our Lord is always there to love and protect them with His saving grace - something we can all depend on and should be thankful for every day. I know I am. 

Its evening now, and the power hasn’t returned. Time for me to fire up the generator. Something else to be thankful for. 

Gary Evans 

CAMM Mobile Clinic Administrator