Demonstrating God’s love
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
A “vote of thanks” from widows in Manasi village to Climbing For Christ members around the world. “‘Don’t worry for what you will eat’ [Matthew 6:25]. This has come true to us. Three days with no food, but today will be another story. Thank Jesus!” (Photos by Damson Samson)
“Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help.” – 1 Timothy 5:5 (NLT)
Mary Mkolimbo’s daughters died, leaving her with six grandchildren to care for alone. She is one of hundreds of widows served by Climbing For Christ staff member Damson Samson’s ministry in southern Malawi.
“The situation is bad here,” Mary said. “There is no food. We live on vegetables.”
Or nothing at all.
Many shared with Damson how they had spent three days with little or no food. Then funding arrived from Climbing For Christ, earmarked “Malawi food relief.” This was sent to Damson to help the widows.
“I rushed to buy maize – 120 bags (50 kilograms/110 pounds each) – and brought them home,” said Damson, who in this moment realized “life needs love.”
“I understood further that this is why God demonstrated His love to us [see Romans 5:8], so we can live.”
Mary Mkolimbo, above: “Today we are going to eat!” Below, Damson with a truckload of maize.
With the purchase of maize, the staple of life in Malawi, Damson began calling the widows to come. “We had hundreds gathering to appreciate the love of the Father to them,” he said. “It was like a dream to them.”
In all, Damson fed 450 widows. It was the first of three monthly food deliveries; this one occurred on three days in several villages in January.
“We shared with them a Word from the book of 1 Timothy (chapter) 5 about widows waiting on the Lord in prayers day and night,” Damson said. “They raised their hands to say, ‘Jesus is the Lord.’”
But they said little else, which led Damson to wonder if they were happy to each be receiving 11-to-12 kilograms (about 25 pounds) of maize. “They opened their mouth to say, ‘We have no voice, but more joy in our hearts.’”
Lucy Unyolo said, “We thought we are forgotten. In this time, we prayed to God for Climbing For Christ. Even though it was a dark time to us we could not stop praying for you, that you may be touched to touch us.”
Indeed, Climbing For Christ was blessed (with more than $13,000 in food relief funding) to bless others (from Damson’s widows to members of Pastor Duncan Nyozani’s churches).
“It was dramatic to see widows dancing and singing, thinking, ‘Is this real? Has this happened to us?’” Damson said. “(Village) chiefs came to thank Climbing For Christ for such support in this time of need.”
For at least one widow, the timing of a food delivery could not have been better. During the maize distribution, Damson said, “we had one member collapse for some hours.” Days of not eating also led to many illnesses among the widows.
These widows often care for grandchildren and other family members because of a missing generation.
One such widow was on her way to Damson’s house to ask to borrow one kilogram of maize to feed her family when she learned about the maize delivery. Another woman told Damson she had “nothing in the house. It’s just a miracle now to be getting this food.”
Namata village widows, above, thanked God for providing: “C4C has saved us. We could die of hunger. But now we have life through your support.” Below, Nasiyaya village widows also were thankful. “We had no food only our prayers.” Those prayers were answered.