A Hidden Gem, Malawi, Africa

It’s a travel cliché describing an intriguing place that is little known and seldom visited.  These “must-sees” are often not seen because they are off the beaten track in “out-of-the- way” places.

But they are worth the effort. Those who stumble upon them feel as though they’ve found, well, a hidden gem.

There are a few of them in Malawi, Africa.

Now there is one more.

This one, however, is not a place, but a person. Her name is Amanda E. Artz. She is the new Administrator for the Lutheran Mobile Clinic (LMC).

The Central Africa Medical Mission Committee (CAMMC) first “stumbled upon” her when they received her application for the position.  As Christians, however, we know it was not a mere “stumbling upon.”  This did not happen by chance.

God had His hand in the whole process!

Amanda saw the ad from CAMMC at her church1 (By the way, an Africa-size thank you, Pastors,2 for including the announcement in the bulletin!).  God then stirred in Amanda a desire to ask questions and eventually apply for the position.  God then moved the committee to select her.

What God ordains is always good.3

So here we are now in Malawi – and in particular at the Lutheran Mobile Clinic – so very blessed because God has ordained that Amanda be here!4

God has given us a kind, compassionate Administrator who is a good listener and hard-worker.  She’s eager to learn and ready to take on challenges.  Respectful, dutiful and humble.  Active church goer.  Bible Study participant. Accomplished musician.

A hidden gem.

In case you might be interested in the work of an LMC Administrator, Amanda gives us peek into it:

“As clinic administrator I attend clinic each week, keep track of the day to day and monthly finances and financial transactions, manage payroll, manage clinic, house, dog, and vehicle maintenance and schedules, stock and inventory house supplies, maintain regular communication with each member of the staff, hear and attend to staff requests and concerns, manage staff employment documents, participate in planning landscaping and gardening projects, request and attend meetings as needed with businesses and organizations in Lilongwe,  pay the bills, submit payroll taxes, pension and life insurance payments, and various other duties as needed and as necessary.”

So if you assumed that you’d always find Amanda in her Lilongwe home office, sorry, you just won’t.  On any given day she’s “off the beaten track in out-of-the-way places” doing what LMC Administrators do and being found where LMC Administrators are found:  the rural villages, government offices and health care facilities.

But be forewarned:  if you are going to find her, you may just need a 4 X 4 Land Cruiser to do so.

As you might well imagine, living and working in a developing country like Malawi brings not only unique joys and adventures but also its challenges.  Amanda humbly yet confidently begs your prayers.  For what specifically can you pray?

I’ll let Amanda answer that:

“Pray that in the thick of the daily stresses of living in Malawi, the people representing the Lutheran Mobile Clinic are clear displays of Christ’s love.  Pray that in everything we say and do, and in our interactions, approaches and executions of tasks big and small we are fit ambassadors to those who don’t know God as well as those who do.  Pray that we remember we are involved in something much bigger than any one of us and that we always re- member our Father is watching and interested and eager to help.”

Well said, Amanda.

Yes, to be “a clear display of Christ’s love.”

A sparkle off a precious Stone.

An eye-catching ray of light off a polished Jewel.  The glint off a discovered hidden Gem.

Is not the Kingdom of heaven actually likened unto a Hidden Treasure and a Pearl of great Price? (Matthew 13:44-46)

Is not Jesus, our resurrected and living Easter Surprise, also THE HIDDEN GEM?

Even though the Lord has revealed Himself in Holy Scriptures as the Pearl of Great Price, not everyone finds it.

Even those who have, at times, take it (Jesus) for granted. (Forgive us, Lord!)

While Amanda was contemplating the question whether or not to apply for the position in Malawi, she had other questions rolling around in her mind:

Will I fit in?

Can I do the work?

Should I give 3 years of my life to this venture?

What will I do for a job when I return to the States?

These questions circled around her heart like vultures around a dead animal.  But Amanda’s mother kept focusing her on Jesus.  Amanda appreciatively recalls that her mother’s (Mary) most frequent response to her concerns was:  “Trust in the Lord.”

Just what Amanda needed to hear.

And just what she did.

So when the plane landed at Kamuzu International Airport on 22 November 2016 one of the passengers who disembarked without a return ticket was Amanda E. Artz.

We are glad – and blessed – because she was.  For those of you in the States, yes, Amanda is now a bit “off the beaten track” and a bit “out of the way.”  But for the Lutheran Mobile Clinic in Malawi, it has been worth all the effort to get Amanda on field.

Oh, by the way, did you notice that Amanda’s middle name starts with an “E?”

Maybe you guessed it already…

Emerald. : )

Amanda Emerald Artz.

A hidden gem.


By: Missionary John Holtz, Field Coordinator, Malawi

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