By: Kaitlyn Miller
Yesterday, we announced a horrible storm tore through Malawi while America slept causing damage on our campus and in our community. Today, we have an update on the damage and a praise report showing God's provision.
We were able to talk to Pastor Phiri in Malawi and have the following information to share with you:
- Grace Center employees, Kennedy and Miles, are working to get our water tanks back on their stands and to get an assessment of the damage to our water pipes but at this time we have no water on campus.
- Gloria, who was almost washed away with the storm yesterday, and the other children all slept well last night and seem to be undisturbed by the storm they witnessed yesterday. Pastor Phiri spent the evening with them and prayed with them yesterday giving them further peace and security as their community and home has so much change.
- We told you yesterday Mayi Lumbe, textile employee, lost her home. The report today is that her roof was torn off and some walls were torn down. Her food was damaged but the majority of her belongings are intact and accounted for. She was not in the home at the time of the storm. Thank goodness!
- Mr. James, also a textile employee, also reportedly lost his home. Here is his family's update and miraculous story: Mr. James was at the textile center at the time of the storm. His wife saw dark, dangerous looking clouds rolling in and decided to get their children and head to the textile center. She arrived safely just as the storm began. Right after the storm, a neighbor called him and asked where his family was. He told them they were all together and safe. The neighbor told him their home was completely destroyed. Praise Jesus they were not in the home!
- New reports of damage to our staff's homes also came in. Kennedy, our head CHE member, lost the roof to their family home and suffered extensive damage to their food supplies. They do not have any extended family to stay with since their home is damaged so they are currently staying in one of our classrooms until their roof can be repaired.
- Another CHE member, Henry was home with his family when the storm hit. Their roof was torn off and the walls fell down but, by God's grace and provision, the walls fell to the outside and not a single family member was harmed.
- Grace Alliance Church member Jarius also lost his roof.
- Even with all this damage to structures and homes there is only one reported injury in our local villages. A woman was hit by tin flying off a roof and injured but is stable.
Sadly, the Ntcheu community, across the hills from the Grace Center, was hit even more severely by the same, intense storm. 51 people were kiled when the storm swept their area. Please pray for the families and community as they deal with this loss. We have a newly planted Grace Alliance church in this community but have no information about it at this time. Government officials are assessing the damage further at this time.
We are SO thankful there were no other reported injuries. As we are able to get more information we continue to be amazed at how God has spared us from what could have been an even more tragic situation.
Since we told you about the damage yesterday we have been blessed by your interest in joining us in raising funds for recovering in this hard time. As more people are able to get back to their homes and we get more information; we see the need for an increased budget for food this year since so many people's already limited supplies of food were blown away or saturated and ruined.
To better explain this food crisis we need to better understand Malawi's staple food; nsima. Corn is grown all over Malawi then harvested and dried. Once the corn is dried, Malawians take it to a local mill. The corn is milled into flour and stored in their home. This flour is made into a thick paste and eaten with all meals in Malawi as the primary source of food and calories. On our campus, we are working to increase food variety but nsima is still a daily and much enjoyed food by Malawians.
Based on this, you can see how water soaking your flour you have stored FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR would put you in a challenging situation.
Click the link below to donate to our recovery efforts and food interventions through our school lunch program and others as we watch our Malawian friends search for how to make the most of this challenging time.
We also need your prayers as we work to recover. We know where our hope comes from; our hope is in the Lord! Here are ways you can join us in prayer today:
1. Comfort for families from the Ntcheu area who have lost loved ones in the storm.
2. Comfort for Mayi Lumbe, James, Kennedy, Henry, Jairus and many more families as they figure out how to rebuild their homes. Pray for the release of resources and for donors to rise up to help rebuild homes.
3. Pray for the release of heaven’s resources to purchase more food. Praise God for a great exchange rate on the wire transfer we sent yesterday to purchase school lunches and an excellent price on beans. God is so good to provide so generously for his children!
4. Wisdom for leaders in the church and the government to help those who are suffering during this time – from the storm and from hunger.
5. Not only for the multiplication of food in cooking pots, but that the value of the food would be multiplied in people’s bodies – that insufficient food intake would not result in starvation or wasting of people’s bodies.
6. That as people’s hands are opened for food, their hearts would be opened to receive Jesus.