Monday, December 19, 2011

Talking Points at Grace Lutheran, Elroy, WI

Mission Malawi 2013-The Emma and Claire Malawi Well Fund
Talking points at Grace Lutheran in Elroy, WI:

Claire: I am very interested about this project.  I am glad we started doing it because it makes me feel like a good person when I help other people and children.  Putting in the well is exciting.  In 2 years my family will be going to Malawi to dedicate the well.  I can’t wait to see how happy the children and people are about having clean water when we visit.  

Emma: The reason I’m doing this project is because I can’t wait to see the faces on the people that we helped.  To
experience what they experience in 2013 will be hard because we people in the United States have almost everything. We all take a lot of things for granted. They eat different food, and the children get maybe 3 nutritious meals a week and they still can’t make enough food to feed everybody, so some people are missed. Most of children do not have nutritious meals unless they go to one of the feeding centers which we also support. Just think, we eat 3 times a day and maybe more. Some walk to get water 6 miles, just to get a bucket of water. We can just get water out of our faucet.  Just this week, my grandpa said that we will probably be putting the well by a school. There are many villages that will benefit because they are close by.  Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.

Missy: A few weeks ago pastor preached about servant leadership.  His sermon spoke to me as a Christian and a parent of two girls committed to a mission.  He spoke of visions, dreams, and passions….offered to us through Jesus Christ.  We were asked what dream we as Christians have been called to and how will we follow Jesus in these dreams.  Our mission focuses on these three key words that continue to remind me of our purpose……visions, dreams and passion.  The mission Malawi well project was thought of through my personal relationship having a father that served 2 terms as Bishop of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin.  The synod in which he served in and I was a member of for many years established a companion relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi in 1999.  In the United States there are 65 synods of which all have a companion synod relationship with another Lutheran church body somewhere in the world.  Many of you are familiar with our La Crosse Area Synod companion country of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.  Malawi is a sub-Saharan African country bordering Tanzania, Moazmbique, and Zambia.  It is one of the poorest countries in the world with about 12 million inhabitants, most of whom live in small rural villages without any electricity or running water.  Many live in what we would call huts.   Like other poor African countries Malawians struggle with hunger, malaria, unclean water related diseases and AIDS/HIV.  While challenged on many fronts, the people in this country, which is referred to as the “warm heart of Africa” are hope-filled people of faith.  The ELC in Malawi is one of the fastest growing Lutheran churches in the world.  The Bishop, Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe is a strong leader in the Lutheran World Federation organization and he is also recognized and utilized by the government as a mediation facilitator among political groups in Malawi.Since they were 4 and 2, Emma and Claire have helped to raise money to support orphan feeding centers in small villages, and they have also given money for the malaria bednet project.  This spring, having heard about the need for clean safe drinking water and wells being dug and drilled through a collaborative effort between the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi, Emma and Claire asked if it would be possible for them to raise money to put a well in to a Malawian village.  Initially, it was thought that a shallow dug well with concrete capping and a pumping system would be sufficient and would cost about $4,000.  Now because of the demand on such wells as municipal wells used by people who walk miles to get the water, the supply of water is lacking.  As a result, new deep bore wells are being drilled by truck rigs.  This is a much more expensive endeavor due to the difficulty in reaching these villages and availability of well drilling supplies, but the wells will be able to service the people for many years.  The new dollar goal for the Emma and Claire Malawi Well Fund project is $10,000 of which they have raised approximately $3,500 of.  One of the primary sources of income for the fund is through their making and selling of beaded bracelets.  Plans are for the well to be drilled the summer of 2012 and Bishop Bvumbwe will choose the best site for the well.  All proceeds from projects such as the bracelets and donation gifts are being accounted for through the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and The Emma and Claire Malawi Well Fund. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our Bracelet Creations

Another Bead Retreat

We had another successful bracelet beading retreat this weekend.  On Friday night there were 5 of us beading (mom, dad, Emma, Claire and I).  Dad left for Chicago on Saturday so then the four of us continued the bracelets with help from Emma's friend, Lauren.  We are hoping to make some extra bracelets with the holidays coming up.  Also, Emma and Claire will be sharing about Mission Malawi at Grace Lutheran in Elroy in a few weeks, therefore having bracelets available will be good.  We continue to be blessed with many people supporting funding of the well.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mission Malawi, November 7, 2011

It is time for me to sit down and send a note of thanks to everyone for your support and prayers for the Mission Malawi Well Fund.  Emma and Claire continue to see the blessings from many caring and passionate people wanting to contribute to their project.  From donations, stories, strangers, prayer, and many other components to the project, we continue to be blessed.

Presently we are a third of the way to our goal.  Initially we were going to put in a hand dug shallow well capped with a concrete slab and pump.  However, because of the use of these wells as basically municipal wells to which people walk miles to get clean water and carry it home, they are finding the need to go much deeper.  As a result, we are being encouraged to put in a bore well, using drilling equipment which will put the cost of the well at approximately $10,000.  They are finding these types of wells provide much better efficiency and long term sustainability.

We again will be doing a mini-beading retreat this weekend with Grandma Roxie as we continue to have a need for more bracelets.  Emma and Claire will be sharing their project at our church in Elroy, Wi on December 3 and 4.  Our church is presently doing a project for bed nets, of which the girls are familiar with and have contributed to throughout the years.

I can't stop thinking of the amazing relationships and conversations that have come about from the project.  Wishing you all a wonderful fall and as we near the end of November, on behalf of the girls and the rest of our family, we are THANKFUL for so many things.
In appreciation,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mission Malawi


    Emma and Claire Herek, through the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi, are raising money to provide for a clean water well(s) in a Malawi, Africa, village(s) to be selected by Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe.  The well(s) is expected to be drilled in late 2012, and dedicated in 2013.
    The girls, now ages 12 and 10, have been supporting orphan feeding centers and mosquito bed net projects in Malawi through the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and the ELCA Hunger Program since they were 4 and 2.  They have raised hundreds of dollars to, in their words, “help the hungry children in Africa”.  In addition to their own gifts, they have encouraged friends and family to give.
      In the spring of 2011, Emma and Claire decided they wanted to raise money to provide clean safe drinking water for children and adults who do not have access to such water.  Their goal is to raise a minimum of $4,000 for a bore well(s).  The girls have contributed money they have earned, and they also sold many of their own items at a four-family garage sale where all proceeds went to the well(s) project. Now, they are making and selling bead bracelets.  To date, they have raised a total of approximately $2,000.
     All proceeds from projects and donation gifts are being accounted for through the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, The Emma and Claire Malawi Well Fund.  The synod address is: 944  24 and 1/4 Street, Suite 2, Chetek, WI  54728. (Note: Donations can be sent directly to the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin.)
   Emma and Claire are the daughters of Lee and Melissa Herek, the granddaughters of Pastor Bob and Roxie Berg, and the nieces of Michelle Berg