Malawi Cyclone Emergency Relief Efforts
Steady rain hit Southern Malawi for 5 long days. Although power is already intermittent, we lost it completely while the cyclone tore through Blantyre. I saw my neighbor's house collapse after 3 days and wondered if my own would be alright. It became difficult to communicate with my relatives as their phones were unreachable. I kept in touch with my Kingdom Workers' Malawi colleagues to find out if they were okay, and thankfully they were.
I was able to use my phone to check the news on social media. The scenes were disturbing and unbelievable. Just a few kilometers away at Soche Mountain many houses and people were washed away. The death toll now is believed to be over 500 people. Days later, I saw footage from Mulanje where my family lives, and saw more homes destroyed and lives taken. I know a family with a disabled member who lives near a river and is served by our volunteers. I pray that they are safe.
Why would God allow this devastation to take place? Perhaps we will never know. But we do know that this is an opportunity to show love to our neighbors. While my family focuses on survival (food, water, shelter, keeping our kids safe, etc.) I have been challenged to love my neighbor as myself as God instructs in Mark 12. So, I'm calling all the volunteers and pastors I know to see how they are doing. While I'm still processing all the widespread damage, this is an opportunity for us to love our neighbors.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31
When the rain stopped Thursday, I visited Mpemba, a rural village outside of Blantyre, to check on a community I had not yet been able to reach by phone. We saw many damaged houses and toilets, including the home of Dalitso and Esther Phiri, two faithful Kingdom Workers volunteers.
The collapsed home of two faithful Kingdom Workers, Dalitso and Esther Phiri.
Esther greeted us with a big smile on her face and said she felt "blessed to be alive and unharmed." She told the story of how when the right side of her house collapsed her family slept in their nearby kitchen. When the kitchen started to collapse they moved to the left side of the house. This is where they are staying now.
The Kingdom Workers team and I are still assessing the needs of our partners throughout the southern region of Malawi but will be providing emergency relief items as soon as possible.
A toilet Kingdom Workers' volunteers built, now usable.