Since the Central Africa Medical Mission was founded, the women and women’s organizations of the WELS were identified as the primary supporters of this mission outreach. A contact women network system was put in place to provide communication throughout the WELS on the work of the CAMM, to provide the funds for the continued operation of the clinics, to organize special project support, and to provide encouragement for the clinic staff in Africa. There is a contact woman for each congregational circuit of the WELS. Some of the large circuits are divided and have more than one contact woman. The contact woman is appointed by the synod circuit pastor in her area to serve in this supportive role for the Central Africa Medical Mission.
Each contact woman is provided a list of the churches in her WELS circuit. The contact woman is asked to forward information to each of these churches. Most ladies currently use email to forward information, but some prefer to mail hard copies. Information includes the monthly CAMM newsletters and sometimes special notes or requests that either field (Zambia or Malawi) provides. In spring and fall, updates are provided to the contact woman to forward to their Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) reporters for distribution at their local rallies.
The contact woman has someone in each church that she forwards the information to and asks that person to disseminate the information to their congregation, including sending hard copy or electronic versions of the newsletters to various church groups and to the congregation to publish in their own newsletters, Sunday bulletins, church mail boxes and/or bulletin boards.
Through this contact women network, we strive to make the majority of WELS members aware of the work of the Central Africa Medical Mission. We realize there are always vacancies and not every contact woman follows through, but with a possible 159 contact women and every congregation assigned to one of them, we try to keep members informed. When a vacancy occurs, the circuit pastor is asked to distribute the information to the churches in his circuit and to appoint another contact woman.
Each of these ladies who serve as a contact woman is vital to CAMM and is truly a supportive arm to the mission outreach in Africa.
If you would like more information on the contact women network, to volunteer to be a contact woman, or to learn who the contact woman is for your congregation, please contact Stephanie Otto, Contact Woman Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many groups like to send charitable items, like pill bottles, layettes, blankets and hats to our fields in Africa. The cost of postage to send even a small box to Africa can be costly for the group sending the items. CAMM is very appreciative of these gifts, and feels the goods outweigh the cost, as many of these items are not available in Africa. Storage space at the clinics, is limited, however, and so it is very important to coordinate the parcel shipments to maintain a steady stream of inventory yet not overwhelm the clinics.
To learn more about what items are currently needed in the fields, and when and where to ship them, please connect with your contact woman or Stephanie Otto, our Contact Woman Coordinator, at email@example.com.
The staff at the clinics see many faces daily that are need of care, and they are truly a light of Jesus to many people. Their work is one of humility, patience, commitment, and sacrifice for people that they may never see again. They carry out their work in a place that has constant reminders of pain, disease, sorrow, and loneliness. Yet they also receive the blessings of new friendships, lessons in perseverance and character, and a strengthened faith in the One who sustains, cares for, and loves all people.
Read more here about the work that is done at the clinics through these letters from the field.
Thank you, thank you so much for your prayers and support of the work of Central Africa Medical Mission to care for the physical and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Zambia and Malawi!