On Sat., Oct. 9, a special worship service will be held at 5:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee to mark the 60th anniversary of the WELS Central Africa Medical Mission. As the theme of the celebration states, members of our synod will thank God for 60 years of his grace and blessings on this important work.
The Central Africa Medical Mission (CAMM) is a mission of WELS supported entirely outside of the synod budget through gifts from WELS women’s groups, Lutheran schools and Sunday schools, and individuals. Its work is administered by the Central Africa Medical Mission Committee, with input from Medical Mission Councils in Malawi and Zambia and the WELS Board for World Missions. We thank the many committee members who have served as volunteers throughout the years.
CAMM began its work in 1961 when it established its first medical mission on the Sala Reserve near Lusaka, Zambia. A permanent dispensary was built and opened later that year. By 1963, as many as 4,000 people were being treated at the Mwembezhi Lutheran Clinic each month. Special prenatal clinics began in 1965, and an under-fives clinic began in 1968.
Work was expanded to Malawi in July 1970 with a mobile health care unit. The nurses traveled to five designated bush areas to set up a clinic for the day and then returned to their home in Lilongwe by night. Permanent structures built to serve as clinics during the week are used as churches on Sunday.
Dozens of faithful workers have carried out the work of this mission for six decades. The mission has faced many challenges, and, as circumstances changed, adjustments were made to the way in which the mission carried out its work. Despite the challenges and changing circumstances, God has blessed the work richly. With God’s help, hundreds of thousands of patients have been served and countless lives saved through the work of the Central Africa Medical Mission. Many adults and children have been baptized.
We take time to thank God for what he has accomplished and for the people he provided to carry out this work faithfully for 60 years. Learn more at camm.us.
Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder