Shaken by the suffering
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Sankhulani sprawled on the dirt floor in his grandmother’s house. He is in his 30s and developmentally disabled. But that does not explain his need to eat soil.
“I asked him if he does that because he doesn’t have food,” said Damson Samson, Climbing For Christ’s Malawi-based Kingdom worker. “He said yes.
“It took me time to believe these things are happening under the sun.”
Damson has served the widows of southern Malawi since CHRISTmas 2015. These are the poorest of the poor in one of the world’s poorest countries. He has seen many disheartening things and the state of Sankhulani and his grandmother, 82-year-old Esnart Salapa, ranks among the worst.
“I know I am responsible for all I have seen and heard,” Damson said. “I prayed for him, asking God’s mercies on him and his grandmother. Then I gave some money to this young man so if he feels hungry he can buy something to eat rather than eating soil.”
Damson was delivering basic needs to the homes of widows. Maize (corn), flour, fish, soybeans, cooking oil, salt, soap and lotion purchased with monthly widows’ support from Climbing For Christ.
“Only this time, with the support provided, I suggested we reach those widows who are sick and it has been a long time since we considered them,” Damson reported. “The team went into the village, door to door, granting them the gift and praying for the sick as well as strengthening them in faith through Bible reading.
“While others were in various villages, I went to Nasiyaya, where I visited nine homes. Besides giving them the gift, I was praying for them and helping them to accept Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
“But what I have heard and seen shook me. That brought me upon my knees this morning praying for God’s mercies to His people.”
Lidia Namonde, above, and the remains of her house, below.
He visited Lidia Namonde, whose house was one of many destroyed in April flooding caused by Cyclone Idai, the storm that devasted Mozambique and poured rains on Zimbabwe’s eastern mountains and southern Malawi. She was sitting outside the remains of her house.
“She said she has been asking people around her to provide a shelter since she lost her house,” Damson said. “Life has never been easy for her.
“One morning she was sleeping while it was raining. Then she felt like the house is going down. She rushed out and within seconds the house collapsed.
“While it was raining, she hid in the bush, waiting for the sun to raise people who would come to claim her for dead. With a soft voice from the bush she said, ‘I am alive.’”
She is alive in Jesus. She knows that God protected her during this horrible event.
“Continuing her story, she was taken to another home, where she was given food and a fire to warm up. She was eating in the kitchen and had finished when she saw the roof shaking. She took one step out and it collapsed again.
“I prayed with her for God to grant a miracle for His glory.”
The cost of building a house for widows is US $1,200 due to increasing costs for building supplies. This in a country where more than half of all Malawians live below the poverty line.
Damson rejoiced that three people confessed in prayer the need for Jesus in their lives. “It was very fruitful,” he said. “Many lives were reached with gifts and prayers and encouraging words.”
“Msema widows putting their hands together for Jesus,” Damson said, “as He has provided for them in their time of need. The sick smiled despite the pain they are going through.”
The final Word
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” – Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)