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.