“The LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121: 7 - 8
There have been many words used to describe 2020 – unprecedented, exhausting, lost, chaotic, surreal, and more. All these words can be used to describe what 2020 was like for the Central Africa Medical Mission and our work in Zambia and Malawi, as well. This was a year that saw us do something we have never done before – we suspended clinic in Malawi from the beginning of April through the end of September. During this time of the unknown however, God showed us time and again that He is faithful, and He is in control.
In March, as we watched the world quickly shut down, we marveled at the fact that God has provided the technology we needed to have several conference calls amongst the CAMM Stateside Committee and some of our most trusted advisors. Without technology, we would not have been able to make the quick, well-informed decisions that needed to be made and to get Gary and Beth Evans on a plane to the U.S. We also all marveled at how technology helped us quickly reach all of our staff members in Malawi to let them know that clinic had been suspended temporarily. Finally, technology let us communicate with our staff in Zambia to quickly give them approval to purchase the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that they would need to continue their work safely. (We suspended Malawi services because as a mobile clinic there was a high possibly that we could unknowingly bring COVID out into the villages. Since Zambia is a standalone clinic in a rural area, there is less likelihood of one of our staff transmitting it to a patient).
Over the course of the next several months, God continued to provide for our clinics and staff through the prayers that we know our supporters were sending up to Him. We are incredibly grateful to the Lord that none of our staff in either country contracted COVID. We are also grateful that between cutting our costs and the continued support from our donors, we were able to continue to pay our Malawi staff preventing them from having to find other work.
In September, God blessed us yet again when He moved Malawi to open their airport so we could fly Gary and Beth back to Malawi. He blessed them with a good travel experience and kept them safe from contracting COVID. Although they were required to quarantine when they got back to Malawi, they were able to communicate with our staff to prepare restarting clinic – this included creating a restart plan with consideration of social distancing, crowd control, masks and more. The Lord provided reliable volunteers/local staff to help with crowd control, adequate PPE and two well-maintained ambulances so we can split the staff up for the trip out to the villages.
Along with the aforementioned blessings, God has provided so much more – from the help of the missionaries who stayed behind in Malawi to the guidance of those on the One Africa Team to the thoughts and prayers of all of our supporters to all of the things unknown – it is clear that the Psalmist was right – God did keep us from harm, He watches over our lives and He watches over our coming and going. Praise be to God!
Chair – CAMM Stateside Committee