2021 Spring LWMS Rally Letter

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1. Time and activity have certainly been a challenge in the past twelve months as the world has dealt with the pandemic and its impact on people’s daily lives and activities (or lack thereof). LWMS and its members have had to forego in person rallies for many circuits in the past year and even total cancellations for many for the last couple of rallies. CAMM made the decision to bring our expats home last spring and they did not return to the field until mid-fall 2020. Yet through all the uncertain times, God continues to “work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Mission work has continued being supported through LWMS and new methods of holding rallies/conventions were held to stand behind the missions. CAMM had to undergo some necessary changes with clinic closures/restrictions and new procedures moving forward as the year progressed. Through these trials, plans began to take place as to how God’s direction for CAMM might involve new blessings and changes for the mission moving forward. Shelly Sievert, CAMM Stateside Committee chair shares the following on behalf of CAMM:

When the Central Africa Medical Mission was established sixty years ago, those who were on the stateside committee and their advisors had the foresight to establish a clear plan for the organization. When looking at a country for our services, they said it was important that a mission was established and that we could support them through our humanitarian work. They also would only go into a country if there was an opportunity for nationals to eventually operate the clinic. Our Zambia clinic has been operating with little oversight from the stateside committee for close to 15 years. After 50 years of operating in Malawi, we have prayerfully made the decision to nationalize our Lutheran Mobile Clinic, as well. We employ 11 nationals because God has given us the right staff and the right ex-pats to train that staff. We are overwhelmed with God’s blessings! Beth and Gary Evans are spending their last 18 months in the field training and evaluating the staff so we can confidently empower the staff to take on more of the operational responsibility. We thank God for giving us the staff that he has and for his continued generosity. We thank God daily for our supporters, as well – for without your prayers and thoughts and YOUR generosity, we could not continue the work that we do. Please continue to keep our clinics, staff and the patients in your prayers. We know that God will establish our plans and HE will continue to guide our decisions to His glory, as he tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “’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.’”

We ask for your prayers for CAMM and that in all CAMM carries out, it be to His glory and according to His purpose. CAMM has been fully funded by supporters that continues to allow us to operate the two mission healthcare clinic fields in Malawi and Zambia. Offerings for CAMM can be done online at our website(www.camm.us) or sent to WELS/CAMM, P O Box 64064, St. Paul, MN 55164-0064.

God in His mercy has blessed CAMM and we are so thankful to be able to focus on what He has given us the joy to carry out as we look to celebrate our 60th Anniversary of serving in Zambia in 2021 and our 50th Anniversary in Malawi in 2020. Linda Liesener, CAMM Event Chair and Development Coordinator shares information on this upcoming day of thanksgiving:

It is with glorious praise that the Central Africa Medical Mission celebrates 60 years of service in Zambia in 2021 and 50 years of service in Malawi. On November 26, 1961, the Lumano Lutheran (Mwembezhi) Dispensary was dedicated near Lusaka, Zambia, as over 500 people including the Sala Chief Shakumbila looked on. The theme was “Come unto me, and I will give you rest!” As we enter 2021, thousands will come to the same clinic site seeking healing of the body and soul. During the past year, the old clinic building underwent major renovations. Many of those renovation photos can be viewed on this site. The building has been upgraded so medical services can continue for years to come – years beyond our lifetime. Much of the renovation has been funded by our former nurses and health administrators. In Malawi, medical services began in the late summer of 1970 as a mobile clinic. The “several weeks at three regular clinic stops saw over 1900 adults and 700 children in our under-five clinics.” Amazing for their “first try in the bush with medicine”. Edie Schneider Hintz (Let Us Do Good by E Wendland & T Sauer pg 32) The Lutheran Mobile Clinic currently serves 4 rural villages. Annual attendance varies between 47,000 to 58,000 patients. Those clinic buildings are also being renovated or replaced with funds from a few generous individual donors. The people in these villages trust the Lutheran Mobile Clinic to provide healing of body and soul. On October 9th, 2021 we will celebrate the progress since the first dispensary doors opened. We would like to thank the nurses and health administrators who volunteered years of their lives to travel from family and friends to “provide opportunity to all believers.” This event is not a fundraiser for the Central Africa Medical Mission. It is a celebration of the medical mission work in Zambia and Malawi. The day’s activities will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee. While the morning activities will be only for past alumni and their guests, a late afternoon worship service is scheduled at Grace Lutheran Church at 5pm. The service will be open to the public. More details about the service will be posted at a later time when capacity and live streaming abilities are determined. A meal and program will complete the day’s schedule but will be invitation only due to restrictions.

How can we not with joy, thank our God who has blessed the services and mission work He has allowed to be done in these two fields. Please visit the website to see regular updates on CAMM’s work.

CAMM Contact Women who help with sharing the latest news from CAMM along with the monthly letters written by the two field’s staff are still needed for many WELS congregations. If you either don’t have regular access to the monthly letters at your church or if you might be interested in serving in this manner, please feel free to contact me as I serve in the Contact Woman (CW) Coordinator role. I would love to share this opportunity to share the good news of CAMM with you. Please check on the website if we need a CW for your congregation. Requested project information for the clinics can be obtained through emailing me and my email is listed below.

Thanks to LWMS for their loving and generous support for CAMM over the years and to God be the glory as we share Him through the Christ centered healthcare we offer in Malawi and Zambia.

In Christ’s Service, Cheryl Valus, CAMM Contact Woman Coordinator, cwc.camm@gmail.com, 810-287-8139. 5230 Lin Hill Drive, Swartz Creek, MI 48473

See CAMM news/photos on the website at www.camm.us or on Facebook at Facebook.com/camm.wels.