Building miracle houses: ‘we can’t do without Him’
Story by Gary Fallesen
, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Photos and reporting by Damson Samson
, C4C missionary to East Africa
Damson with smiling Emily as workers build her a house.
Emily Patisi cannot close her mouth. “She always smiles,” said Damson Samson, our missionary to East Africa. “She is happy to see the miracle house.”
She has not had a home since devastating floods took hundreds of lives and destroyed property for hundreds of thousands in January 2015.
Patisi’s “miracle house” is one of seven homes currently being built or renovated for widows living in southern Malawi thanks to God’s provision through Climbing For Christ. We already completed 10 houses as part of our expanded Project 1:27, which is based on James 1:27
(“to look after orphans and widows in their distress
”). Many more will be built by the grace of God.
Project 1:27 began in Malawi in 2010 with the sponsorship of an orphanage operated by Pastor Duncan Nyozani, a Climbing For Christ member. The initiative later spread to Nepal to the orphanages of SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) operated by Pastor Tej Rokka, another C4C member.
A widows program began this year when the Spirit moved Damson to help the many isolated men and women living as the least of the least of these in villages near him. Food, clothing, and sleeping mats were delivered before Damson identified 10 houses that were not providing shelter for widows from rain, cold, animals or thieves. (See “Rejoicing for a roof over their heads
Damson appealed for US$4,000 to build an additional six houses (See “Home, Sweet Homes
”). This need was shared at my home church, Hope Lutheran in Rochester, NY, and the congregation responded by giving more than three times what was thought to be needed.
“I have a clear mind of understanding how much the love of God can do beyond our imaginations,” Damson said. “For sure we can’t do without Him.”
Those on the receiving end are overwhelmed. Emily Patisi cannot stop smiling. Eatery Zachariah and the children she cares for are being blessed with a “bigger house to make sure it accommodates the orphans and her.”
Damson with Eatery Zachariah and her children, above, and Aggese Nandolo, below.
Aggese Nandolo “always looks at the house (being built) surprised with the possibility of getting a wonderful house at her age,” Damson said. “She was smiling and smiling when I am getting there.”
Benedicto Bonongwe “is very excited and speechless,” Damson said, “only thanking God for these miracles.”
Benedicto Bonongwe, above, when construction began on his house on Aug. 3 and, below, with Damson as work continued on Aug. 8.
“Life has been hard for this grandma,” Damson said about Elube Walasi, who lived across the border in Mozambique for many years. “Coming back, she had nowhere to stay. She was very excited to see her new house starting. She could not understand. To her it was like a dream.”
Fages Chipesu “used to sleep in a tent,” Damson said. “Currently she has been blessed with this miracle house. This shocks her for it has never happened since she was born. Her life was so miserable, but now she can see the grace covering her nakedness through C4C. She is very thankful for the development.”
As Damson was visiting the work being done on these six houses he discovered a seventh house that needed to be built during this phase of our project. It is the property of Daniel Nathutu.
Damson with Daniel Nathutu.
“He has been a widow(er) and lived far away until he became epileptic and had one hand and leg not functioning well,” Damson said. “Despite his challenges he is committed in many activities we are doing.”
The widows – despite their physical poverty – have been discipled by Damson and serve the Lord by helping one another. There are nearly 100 widows being ministered to by Project 1:27.
“Life has been so hard,” Damson said about Daniel. “He can’t do any farming activities because both his right leg and arm are not working properly. Even to get food is a challenge to these people.”
Because of the hardships faced by some of the poorest in one of the world’s poorest nations Project 1:27 is a welcome relief. “It has never happened – since the creation of the villages,” Damson said. “I don’t think it could have happened if not through C4C.”