CENTRAL AFRICA MEDICAL MISSION
He is risen! He is risen indeed! May these Easter greetings find you and yours rejoicing in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s victory over death. No matter if you are reading this in California, Michigan, Canada, Malawi, Zambia, China or somewhere in between, there is great comfort in knowing we are all saved by the same Savior!
In March’s letter, we shared the news that we are working towards nationalizing Malawi, similarly to how we nationalized Zambia in 2007-2008. Please accept this as an apology for not being clearer in the last letter about how our work is changing in Malawi. Thank you to those supporters of ours who reached out with questions to clarify. This is precisely why we felt we needed to do a follow up letter and a Frequently Asked Questions sheet. (The FAQ can be found on our website). Please allow me to answer some of those questions here as well.
Nationalizing Malawi does not mean that we are pulling out of the country and are no longer doing our work there. Rather, please look at this as us pushing our mission work there forward.
In 2007, we entrusted the day-to-day operational responsibility of the Mwembezhi, Zambia clinic to a Zambian national named Jackson Kalekwa and the Zambian staff. Even after 14 years, we continue to be very involved with this clinic’s operations from a financial, spiritual, and strategic standpoint.
In 2018, our stateside committee (CAMMc) appointed Gary Evans, current Administrator in Charge in Malawi, to also be the Field Director over Zambia to give more visibility and accountability into what is happening at our clinic. This includes working with Jackson and our Zambian Administrator, Alisad Banda, to get them supplies and equipment as needed. Gary’s involvement in Zambia, and collaboration with CAMMc (thanks to advancements in technology along with modern travel) was instrumental in the work we recently did in repairing and upgrading our clinic there. In addition, we work with both the local Lutheran Church of Central Africa (LCCA) Pastor and the Zambia Lutheran Medical Committee (an advisory group made up of two LCCA pastors, our Mission Liaison, Gary, Alisad, and Jackson) on the devotions that are given daily at the clinic, along with educational content used in counselling, and overall clinic operations.
Finally, CAMMc works closely with Gary, Alisad, and Jackson on items that are needed from our supporters – like the baby layettes, hats and blankets that were recently sent. As a mission, we are so very thankful that the Lord has continued to bless us with supporters and a path that allows the Zambian clinic to move forward with Zambians serving Zambians.
What does all this mean for our Lutheran Mobile Clinic in Malawi? We believe that God is now opening the door and providing a path for our Malawian staff to serve Malawians. We will operate with a structure in Malawi similar to what we have in Zambia.
We have hired two LCCA members to be our Nurse-in-Charge and Administrator-in-Charge to oversee the day-to-day operations in Malawi. We have made the decision to appoint a stateside Field Director who will oversee both the Zambian and Malawian clinics. Our Malawian Nurse-in-Charge and Administrator-in-charge, who will be introduced in May’s newsletter, will be responsible for making sure that our ambulances are stocked and ready to head out to clinic each day. They will handle hiring, training, and managing the staff. They will manage the pharmacy, medication, and nutrition inventory. They will be working with our Field Director to communicate when things like pill bottles, sunscreen, or other supplies from our supporters are needed. They will be tasked with communicating weekly or more frequently with our Field Director and, as needed, with CAMMc.
While we will no longer have Americans living in Malawi, we will continue to be as involved as ever, just with a new interface. Our Field Director (FD) will be asked to travel to both countries on a quarterly basis. The FD will also be working weekly with the leadership from both clinics to ensure our clinics continue to offer Christ-Centered healthcare as was intended from the start. The FD will be entrusted with the bulk of the financial duties for the clinics and will continue to work with CAMMc on communication, including pictures and letters from the field and our Malawian or Zambian staff. The FD will be part of our presentation team when a church, school, or other group asks for someone from CAMM to do a presentation on our mission. Finally, the FD will be asked to serve in other ways as asked by CAMMc or WELS Board of World Missions, such as researching how we could possibly serve in other countries.
As a mission, we put our trust in the Lord in every decision we make. He has blessed CAMM and the work we do in Zambia and Malawi by providing wise counsel from the missionaries and the WELS Board for World Missions. He has provided good and faithful servants – both ex-patriate and national – to conduct the work at the clinics. He has generously provided supporters like Christian Aid & Relief, Lutheran Woman’s Missionary Society, many churches and schools, and hundreds of individual donors to pray for the work the clinics do and to provide financial support. Your donations will continue to go towards all of CAMM’s work – including the medical supplies, baby blankets, equipment, updates or repairs to the clinic, ambulances and more.
Although we are moving the Malawian clinic forward through the Nationalization plan, we realize that we are putting this mission even more into the hands of the Lord. Our expenses continue to go up in both Zambia and Malawi. In Zambia, we made the decision to add another Zambian LCCA Member Clinical Officer to train under Jackson, as we see a need for another clinical expert and possibly someone who can be groomed for the time when Jackson retires. In Malawi, we are adding at least two more positions to our payroll. At this point, we are employing 35 National staff combined in the two countries. Finally, we will have the added expense of our Field Director.
Please continue to pray for the work we are doing through the Central Africa Medical Mission – your prayers are appreciated as we know that it is God who allows us to continue to do this medical work. Finally, please thank God with us that He is faithful, generous, and always provides what is needed to do his work. The Lord be praised.
Written by Shelly Sievert on behalf of the CAMM Stateside Committee
Donations may be made by Check: Payable to Central Africa Medical Mission and Mailed to:
PO Box 64064
St Paul, MN 55164-0064
or Donate to CAMM online @ www.camm.us/donate-to-camm