Wash your hands – if you can
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
A widow in southern Malawi uses her gift from Climbing For Christ – a 10-liter water bucket – so her grandchildren can wash their hands. (Photos by Damson Samson)
Damson Samson visited dozens of widows in numerous villages when he reached Mrs. Sukusula’s house after dark. “I went into her house and she was sleeping right on the blanket (on the dirt floor),” Damson said. “I told her to use the mat.”
Damson was delivering sleeping mats and mosquito nets to 65 widows in southern Malawi. “She was shocked and excited,” he said, “wondering how could that happen.”
“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows – this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” – Psalm 68:5 (NLT)
Damson also was distributing 45 10-liter buckets and 72 bars of soap in a country that last week joined the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. One of the coronavirus prevention tips widely promoted is to frequently wash hands with soap and water, which is fine – IF you have water and soap.
In the majority world, both can be sorely lacking.
“Visiting our widows this time has brought more understanding on how critical it is (during this time),” Damson said Monday. “This is where we need more prayers as their age has more threats from the coronavirus issue.
“If you are sleeping in a doorless house, how can you get sanitary materials?”
Mrs. Sukusula, above, with her new sleeping mat and water bucket. Below, the door to 82-year-old Alusiya Majawa’s home. “There was nothing in her house,” Damson said. He gave her a sleeping mat, mosquito net, water bucket, and soap.
Hygiene is a problem in one of the world’s poorest countries, where the president said, “If (we are) not careful, Malawi could lose up to 50,000 lives from COVID.” As we know, older adults and those with underlying medical conditions face increased risk.
“Pray for us,” Damson said, referring to the more than 400 widows he serves in 11 villages. “I am also asking all Climbing For Christ members around the world to take time praying for us.
“The lockdown situation (which began last week and is scheduled until May 9) is coming to be another challenge as many of our widows cannot afford to make a living on their own. They need more support.”
Widows in Sakwedwa village wash their hands with their new buckets.
A widow in Namata village gives praise to God for His gifts.