Amelca Food Pantry
In the year 2013 we have serviced 9430 family members. We have seen a gradual increase every week in the number of clients we serve.
We receive food from the Letter Carriers Food Drive in May, Panera Bread, and from church donations. Monetarily we receive a small Federal Grant, Thrivent donations, Kim and Sue’s Christmas parties, Junior Welfare, both churches, and individual donations. We have to purchase almost $600-$800 weekly out of our funds. Without all of these we wouldn’t survive.
AMELCA thanks everyone for their support and we will continue to help to the best of our ability.
The Volunteers of AMELCA
Mission Report from the International Health & Development Network (IHDN)
IHDN is a Springfield, IL-based, medical missions organization. IHDN owns and operate a small missions hospital at Weta, Ghana. Weta and surrounding towns and villages have a population of over 60,000 people. This is the only medical facility for these people in Ghana, who earn less than $2 a day. First Evangelical Lutheran Church (FELC) became associated with IHDN in 2006. At that time, Dr. Jamie Wade, who was a medical student joined the medical mission steam to Ghana. At total of 3 short term volunteers from FELC have been sponsored to join IHDN missions team to Ghana so far. This report describes the major activities of IHDN for 2012.
Mission Trips to Ghana
IHDN sponsored two mission trips to Ghana in 2012. The first trip was from Jan 26 to Feb 23 with 4 volunteers and a final year medical student, who is now a doctor. The second trip was from July 2-18,with 9 volunteers. Ms. Kelsey York, a member or First Evangelical Lutheran
Church was sponsored to join the team.
During these mission trips to Ghana, volunteers provide medical and surgical care at the IHDN Mission Hospital, train nurses, work in the medical laboratory, conduct workshops on Christian
Leadership and community development. Over 3000 people were treated by IHDN volunteers, in partnership with their Ghanaian team during the 2 mission trips. Most of the patients had malaria, hypertension, diabetes and degenerative joint disease. Surgical operations were performed on 61
patients. Most of these patients would not have had the chance to get these operations had the volunteer teams not gone to Ghana. Over 10 patients with breast and other cancers were also treated during these trips.
Nursing education is a major aspect of the mission trips. IHDN provided nursing assistant training to 10high school graduates interested in nursing. Some of these students end up being employed by the IHDN Mission Hospital. In-service training was also provided to present nurses on issues of critical care and emergency nursing care.
IHDN is continuing the construction of inpatient wards for the hospital as funds become available. Work is presently focused on a 40-bed unit. The walls for this building have gone up and the roof have been installed. Outstanding work include plastering of the walls, plumbing work, tiling, electrical, installation of windows and doors, which is estimated to cost about $110,000. There also a need for extension of access road (drive through) to these wards, which is yet to be tackled.
A six-unit single room flat was completed during the year. This is being used to provide accommodation to the nursing staff. Other nursing staff, who do not currently have decent accommodation are praying for the day when new flats will be built for them to occupy.
A canteen/cafeteria was opened during the year. This will allow patients and staff to be served food under hygienic conditions.
IHDN Mission Hospital
IHDN mission hospital has provided care to over 25,000 patients, since January 2012,with 50 Ghanaian medical staff. They work under severe challenges. There is no full time doctor and payment for services from the National Health Insurance program is very unpredictable. Most of the suppliers of medications to the hospital have not been paid making it difficult for them to continue to supply the drugs. Most doctors do not want to work in a village setting because they could make more money by working in the big cities than what IHDN is able to afford. IHDN is looking for retired or semi-retired physicians and nurses from the US to go and help work at the hospital.
Shipment of Container to Ghana
In October IHDN shipped a 40ft container to Ghana. This contained supplies and donated office equipment by Dr. & Mrs. Robert Carney and Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach Center, with doors donated by Dr. & Mrs. Ferdinand Salvacion. These shipment go a long way to assist with the ongoing work in Ghana.
Fundraising Dinner in support of the Inpatient Wards
IHDN hosted a fund raising dinner on March 23 at the Hope Evangelical Free Church. Volunteers from FELC, including Dr. James and Mrs. Susan Wade and Mr. Milton Scott and others, participated in this event. A total of $54,635 was raised. This has been sent to Ghana to assist with the construction of the inpatient ward. We thank all those who supported this event.
The work of IHDN has been a journey of faith. We thank all those who have come along with us. We look forward to a continued fruitful relationship with FELC
First Lutheran Church has been a member congregation of IPA since 2009. IPA is a faith-based community organizing advocacy group dedicated to issues of justice. In recent years, IPA has had several success in addressing the foreclosure crisis, payday lending, immigration reform, environmental concerns with corporate exploitation, corporate transparency, homelessness, and transportation needs for the poor and oppressed. Pr. Hoy is the current chair of the Decatur Chapter and serves also on the Board of IPA. Currently, about 10 communities of faith in Decatur are engaged with the work of IPA.
Pastor Hoy also recently recieved an Award from the NAACP Dectur Branch for his outstanding leadership and dedicated service in helping to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Decatu, IL.
In 2013 the LWR quilters were able to continue their mission with the aid of the whole congregation. It is only because of your prayers and donations of money and materials and time that in 2013 we were able to send:
Quilts for LWR- 95
School Kits- 102
Personal Care Kits- 100
Quilts for Decatur Family Sanctuary- 21
Quilts for Dove- 8
The cost of shipping these items each October is very costly. LWR asks for any donation that congregations can give to get these items where needed. In 2013 First Lutheran’s “Noisy Offering”, which is our donation for shipping expenses, was the best ever. If you will remember, the buckets used for this offering were so full we had to end up using a waste basket to complete the collection.
Being able to donate quilts locally is also a mission dear to our hearts. You will notice that if you add the 95 LWR quilts and 21 DFS quilts and 8 Dove quilts that means we made 124 quilts in 2013.
On any given Thursday the quilters begin gathering at 0900 to work on the quilts. Our quilt time ends at noon with lunch together at a local restaurant. In the fall, close to shipping time, we designate one Thursday to assemble the school kits and personal care kits. If you would like to help on this mission project in any way we would love to have you join us on Thursday mornings. Remember, you don’t need to be a fancy quilter to do what is necessary to assemble these quilts.
Story Book Project
First Lutheran took part in the Storybook Project at the Decatur Correctional Center. A personal thank you goes from Gail Beard the LSSI Storybook director sums up what a blessing the project is:
Gail writes: Please share with your churches that with their generous support in 2013 you held seven DCC. Storybook events, and served 458 women (each time about ½ of the women were new participants), and these women reported their 912 children received books and recordings! That is 29% more women and 30% more children than we served all last fiscal year!
Thank you again for your personal donations of books, and monetary donations to support the Storybook Project. Volunteers from FLC were Karen Wenger, Kris Sites and Marilyn Oftedal.